Presentation on theme: "The Basics of Government Government - Libertyville HS."— Presentation transcript:
The Basics of Government Government - Libertyville HS
Four Characteristics of a State Population Territory Sovereignty Government
What is a Government? Definition: “institution through which a society makes and enforces public policies” Public policy = all things a government decides to do
Purposes of Government Maintain a national defense Interact with other national governments (foreign policy) Preserve order Set rules of society Punish rule breakers Provide means of dispute resolution (judiciary) Provide appropriate public services Collect taxes Socialize youth
Composition of Government ALL governments have these parts Legislature Makes the laws Executive Enforces the laws Judiciary Interprets the laws
Comparing Forms of Government Three different ways to compare By who participates By how power is geographically distributed By the relationship between legislative, executive branches
Forms of Government One or few hold power = dictatorship Types of dictatorships Absolute Monarchy Oligarchy
Many participants = democracy Types of democracy Direct Democracy (“Pure”) Indirect Democracy (“Representative”) Flow of Power (who tells who what to do?)
Forms of Government Idea of “levels of government” (between central / national gov’t and state / local gov’t) Unitary system Confederate system Federal system Key question: What is The “direction of power”; in other words, who tells the other political units what to do???
What is American Democracy? Review - what is a democracy? Government by the people People vote on issues, either directly / indirectly Usually, majority rules What is American democracy? Majority rule & protection of minority rights Equality of opportunity (vs. equality of outcome) Freedom of speech (= obligation to listen?) and other individual rights Limited or unlimited individual rights? Capitalist economic system (vs. Socialism)
American Democracy: Capitalism Free enterprise Based on Law of Supply and Demand Individuals, not government, makes day to day economic decisions Profit motive drives system Mixed (blended) economy Government regulation of most important sectors of economy Goal = protect individuals from market forces How? Government laws, regulations, and litigation
Mixed Economy HOW MUCH REGULATION OF THE ECONOMY IS APPROPRIATE IS ONE OF THE KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTIES!!!