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Government - Principles – Formation – Purposes - United States Government and Politics Spring 2015 Miss Beck.

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Presentation on theme: "Government - Principles – Formation – Purposes - United States Government and Politics Spring 2015 Miss Beck."— Presentation transcript:

1 Government - Principles – Formation – Purposes - United States Government and Politics Spring 2015 Miss Beck

2 Don’t be an idiot: Be a citizen. O Ancient Greece O Idiot: From the Greek work idios which means private, separate, or self-centered; only interested in themselves and personal gain; a threat to democracy; if people act idiotically, then the community cannot survive O Citizen: Politics comes from the Greek word polis (city); a polites was a citizen, a person committed to the public good O ALWAYS BE A CITIZEN!

3 Defining the State Not one of the 50…

4 Ancient Greece O Aristotle O “He who has the power to take part in the deliberative or judicial administration of any state is said by us to be a citizen of that state.” -Politics II O State referred to a Greek city-state O Territory of a town and the surrounding area

5 State O Definition: political community in a precise territory O Each state has sovereignty O Sovereignty: the government has the right to make and enforce its own laws without approval from others O The United States is a state with sovereignty O The colonies were NOT sovereign because England had to approve all laws. O United Nations currently recognizes 193 states

6 Why do we have the 50 states? O 13 colonies declared independence in 1776 O Each colony felt it was sovereign O At the time of independence they named themselves “states” after the ancient Greek term O Despite uniting as one nation a short time after declaring independence, the term “state” remained

7 State vs. Nation O People often use the term “nation” for “state” O Nation: sizable group of people who believe themselves united by common bonds of race, language, custom, or religion O Often, states are created around these groups; however, not all citizens of a state identify with the nation O Example: Not all citizens of France are of part of the French nation

8 Nation-state O The territory of the nation of France and the state of France are the in same area O This is called a nation-state

9 Essential Features of a State All 139 states share these features

10 Population O Nature of the population affects stability O Do people share the same beliefs and have the same values? O Distribution of population shifts power O Urban vs. rural O North vs. South/East vs. West

11 Territory O Established boundaries O Often leads to conflicts between states O Changes due to war, negotiation, or purchase

12 Sovereignty O Supreme and absolute authority within boundaries O Complete independence and power O In theory each state should have equal sovereignty O In practice the countries with economic and military strength have more power

13 Government O Definition: Institution through which a state maintains social order, provides public services, and enforces decisions binding on all residents O Each state has a government

14 Origins of the State No one actually knows…we have four theories

15 Evolutionary Theory O Theory: the state evolved from the family O Head of the family served was the source of authority O Extended families needed more organization eventually so states developed

16 Force Theory O Theory: in early civilizations, people had to cooperate to survive – this included creating barriers to protect people and property from enemies O States only exist because people needed to resist enemies O States developed when people in an area came under the authority (leadership) of a person or small group

17 Divine Right Theory O Theory: certain people are chosen by a god (or gods) to rule O Ancient civilizations subscribing to this theory: Egyptian, Chinese, and Aztec O European monarchs of the 1600’s and 1700’s

18 Social Contract Theory O Theory: society exists in a “state of nature” with no government; a “contract” is developed between rulers and the people O Thomas Hobbes: people surrender freedom in exchange for order and protection O John Locke: people have natural rights; contract between people and government to protect natural rights – people have a right to rebel when rights are not protected

19 Purposes of Government

20 O Maintaining social order O Providing public services O Providing national security O Making economic decisions

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