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Foundations of American Government

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Presentation on theme: "Foundations of American Government"— Presentation transcript:

1 Foundations of American Government

2 People and Government

3 What is Government?? Every country and state has some form of Government. Government simply means The institution through which the state maintains social order, provides public services, and enforces decisions that are binding on all people living within the state

4 What is a Nation? Technically, the word nation refers to any sizable group of people united by culture.

5 What is a State? The word state comes from the Latin word stare, meaning to stand A state is a political community that occupies a definite territory and has an organized government with power to make and enforce laws without approval from any higher power The United States is one of close to 200 states in the world today

6 What is a State? The terms state and country have the same meaning. (mind blowing uh?) We call the main divisions within our country states, because when the colonies declared their independence, they thought of themselves as 13 separate countries. They later joined as one country but still referred to themselves as states.

7 What are essential features of a state?
Population Provides stability Consensus – when a group of people (such as a State) share a common belief on an issue or idea Territory Defines territory Continental US boundaries are the Atlantic ocean, Pacific ocean, Canada, Mexico


9 What are essential features of a state?
Sovereignty Political sovereignty means that the state has supreme and absolute authority within its territorial boundaries -meaning it has complete independence and power given by the people over its territory Government Every state has a form of government It provides Social order Public services Enforces decisions that are binding on all people living within the state

10 Section 1 ~ Principals of Government ~
Where did the theories of government originate? Many terms and concepts of government originated in ancient Greece and Rome. {ex politics, democracy, and republic}

11 Four Theories of the Origin of the State
Evolutionary Theory State evolved from the family Head of the primitive family was the authority that served as a government (tribes) Force Theory When all the people of an area are brought under the authority of one person or group it is called the force theory In earliest civilizations, leaders often issued decrees and soldiers went to war to protect their city.

12 Four Theories of the Origin of the State
*Social Contract Theory By contract the people surrender to the state and the power needed to maintain order. The state in return agree to protect its citizens. Divine Right Theory The notion that a god or gods have chosen certain people to rule. {Ex: Egypt, England, and Chinese}

13 Social Contract’s Main Theorists
*Thomas Hobbs was the first to theorize on the social contract. “Without authority to protect people from one another, life was nasty, brutish and short” John Locke took the social contract one step further. “People are naturally endowed with the right to life, liberty, and property” When Government fails to preserve the rights of the people, the people have the right to break the contract.

14 Four Major Purposes of Government
Maintain social order It maintains social order by making laws and punishing individuals who break those laws. Provide Public Safety It provides essential public services that promote the general welfare of the people. Providing National Security It handles relations with other nations and protects citizens from attack. Making Economic Decisions It makes decisions that influence the nation’s economy

15 The Formation of Government
Chapter 1 Section 2

16 Introduction Most large countries have several levels of government.
These usually include a central or national government, as well as the governments of states or provinces, counties, cities, towns, and villages.

17 Government Systems Unitary system
A unitary system gives all key powers to a central or national government. The central government has the power to create state, regional, or other local governments and may give them limited sovereignty Countries with a unitary system of government are Great Britain, France, and Italy

18 Government Systems Federal system
A federal system divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments. {ex: Canada, Switzerland, Mexico, Australia, India, and the United States}

19 The united states adopted a federal system after the thirteen colonies became states.
To begin with, the United States formed a confederacy. A confederacy is a loose union of independent states. When the US confederacy failed American leaders wrote a constitution.

20 Constitutions and Government
A constitutional government is a government in which a constitution places limits on the powers of those who govern. A constitution is a plan that provides guidelines for government. Constitutions are incomplete guides because no written constitution can spell out all the laws, customs, and ideas of a government.

21 Purposes of a Constitution
1. It sets forth goals and ideals that the people of a nation believe in and share. These are usually stated in the preamble 2. It establishes the basic structure of government and defines the government’s powers and duties. For example, in a federal state, a constitution describes the relationship between the national and state governments. 3. It provides the supreme law for the country.

22 Constitutional law involves the interpretation and application of the constitution. It defines the extent and limits of government power and the rights of citizens.

23 Politics and Government
People take part in politics when they try to control the actions and decisions of government. In the United States, for example, Americans continually struggle over what services the government should provide, how much it should spend, and who should pay the cost.

24 Politics and Government
Politics provides peaceful ways for citizens to settle conflicts The outcomes of political struggles affect the quality of air and water, jobs and prices, peace and war, rights and freedoms Some people fear that politics often sacrifices the good of all for the benefits of a few.

25 Industrialized Vs. Developing, unindustrialized nations
They have large industries and advanced technology that provide a more comfortable way of life than other countries. The United States and many other countries {Japan, Canada, Australia, and France}, are industrialized nations.

26 Governing in a Complex World
Developing nations are only beginning to grow industrially. In the poorest the these countries, widespread hunger, disease, and political unrest are a way of life. Examples….

27 Governing in a Complex World
Nations are becoming more and more interdependent. This means that they interact with or depend on one another economically and politically.

28 Governing in a complex World
What happens in one nation or area of the world affects what happens in other places. Global interdependence is increasing due to growing industrialization and rapid technological advances, such as the internet. Many developing states are very dependent on industrialized ones for economic aid, medical supplies and services, financial investment, and military aid.

29 Governing in a Complex World
Nonstate groups also play a role in international politics. These nonstate groups fall into four categories: Terrorist groups and quasi-military organizations~such as –    Al-Qaeda Political movements~ like the Palestine Liberation Organization {PLO} and the Irish Republican Army {IRA}. Multinational corporations~ like General Motors, Nabisco, Mitsubishi, and Sony International organizations~like the World Trade Organization {WTO}, which is composed of many nations working together for common goals.

30 Types of government Chapter 1 Section 3

31 Types of government Over centuries people have organized their governments in many different ways. Aristotle identified three types of government: Autocracy – ruled by one person; oldest and most common form of government. Oligarchy – ruled by a few people; gets its power from wealth military power, social position, or combination of theses. Democracy – ruled by many

32 Democracy: Key idea of democracy is that the people have sovereign power. In a direct democracy, people vote on every issue Most are not direct democracy but indirect or representative democracy where people elect representatives and delegate the power to govern.

33 The United States is a republic and representative democracy where people hold sovereign power, elect lawmakers and a head of state.

34 The Soil of Democracy Democracy has four characteristics:
It promotes individual liberty, or equal opportunity of all people It is based on majority rule with minority rights. It requires elections in which candidates express their views freely, voting requirements are few and nondiscriminatory, and each person’s vote is equal and cast by secret ballot. It allows competing political parties, with different approaches to issues, to give voters a choice. {Republican, Democratic)

35 The Soil of Democracy In a democracy everyone’s vote carries the same weight a principle often expressed in the phrase “ one person, one vote”.

36 Most democracy begins or is accepted in countries without extremes of wealth and poverty and with a large middle class. Free enterprise is the opportunity to control one’s own economic destiny. Democracies needs stable growing economies.

37 The Soil of Democracy When democratic societies are in an economic depression, Dictators have a better chance of taking over the government.

38 Democracy prospers societies an education system exists because it needs citizens to be politically educated and have a social consensus. Social Consensus is where most people accept democratic values like liberty and equality for all. The education allows citizens to be knowledgeable enough to participate wisely in politics.

39 Economic Theories Chapter 1 Section 4

40 Economic Theories Economics is the study of human efforts to satisfy seemingly unlimited wants with limited resources. (Who gets what and how much) The world’s three major economic systems are capitalism, socialism, and communism.

41 Economic Theories: Capitalism
Capitalism has five characteristics: Private ownership of property and resources Free enterprise Business competition Freedom of choice The possibility of profits

42 Economic Theories: Capitalism
Buyers and sellers have unlimited freedom to make economic decisions in a free market. The Father of Capitalism is Adam Smith – a Scottish philosopher who described capitalism in his book The Wealth of Nations.

43 The government adopts a laissez-faire (“to let alone”) policy
No nation has a pure capitalist system. The United States is a mixed-market economy, one in which free enterprise, or capitalist practices, are combined with and supported by government influences.

44 Economic Theories Communism
The Father of Communism is Karl Marx – a German thinker and writer who was a Socialist that advocated for a violent revolution. He published his ideas in 1848 in a pamphlet called The Communist Manifesto

45 Economic Theories Communism
Communism believes that history is a struggle between two classes. The bourgeoisie (rich) own the means of production and use their economic power to oppress the proletariat (poor), or workers.

46 Economic Theories Communism
This struggle must end in violent revolution, after which government owns the means of production and distribution. In time one class will evolve, property will be held in common, and there will be no need for government. In Communist systems, as they exist today, all decisions are made at the upper levels of government.

47 Economic Theories: Socialism
Under socialism, the government owns the means of production and makes most economic decisions. Socialism has three goals   Private ownership of most land Public ownership of the means of production Government control over most economic decisions Equal distribution of wealth

48 Economic Theories: Socialism
Socialists believe that workers should share equally in the benefits of production. Opponents say that socialism stifles individual initiative and hinders economic growth through high taxes.

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