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Unit 1 Basic Political Theory and Historical Roots.

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2 Unit 1 Basic Political Theory and Historical Roots

3 What is Government? ► Government- institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policy ► Public Policy- all things a government decides to do. ex. tax, education, health care, etc.

4 3 types of power ► Legislative power- make the laws ► Judicial Power- interpret the laws, settle disputes within society ► Executive Power- execute or enforce the laws

5 The Basic Unit ► The foundational political unit in the world is the state (often called nation or country)  Body of people in a territory with a government that has no higher authority  Over 190 in world ex: Mexico, Russia, Canada, the United States are all states

6 The 4 Characteristics of a State ► Population  largest China 1.3 billion, smallest San Marino 30,000 ► Territory  largest Russia 6.6 mil. square miles, smallest San Marino 24 square miles ► Sovereignty- absolute power within its territory ► Government

7 How Did States Evolve? ► Divine Right  15 th through 18 th centuries, common thinking was that God gave certain people a “divine right” to rule over others

8 How Did States Evolve? ► Social Contract  1700’s philosophical response to the idea of Divine Right  Theory was developed by John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean Jacque Rousseau John Locke (1632-1704)

9 How Did States Evolve? ► Social Contract  Free people decided to form states to keep themselves safe John Locke (1632-1704)

10 The Big Deal is: ► If people formed states to serve their own interests, then government exists to serve the people

11 Purpose of Government ► Based on the social contract theory, the purpose of American government is to:  Form a More Perfect Union  Establish Justice  Insure Domestic Tranquility  Provide for the Common Defense  Promote the General Welfare  Secure the Blessings of Liberty ► *In case you’re curious, this is the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution*

12 Different Forms of Government ► Democracy - “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”  Direct - people make policy themselves  Indirect - people vote for others who will make policy (also called republic)

13 Different Forms of Government  Dictatorship – government is not accountable to anyone ► Autocracy – single person holds unlimited power ► Oligarchy – a small, self-appointed group rules

14 Different Forms of Government  Unitary – one national government, smaller lower units have little or no say in policy ► Examples : Israel, Great Britain, France

15 Different Forms of Government  Federal – smaller units share power with the central national government ► Examples : Mexico, Canada, Australia

16 Different Forms of Government  Confederal – smaller regional governments hold the most power, united by a weak central government ► Examples : European Union, Confederate States

17 Different Forms of Government  Presidential – voters separately elect Executive and Legislative branch members

18 Different Forms of Government  Parliamentary – Executive is chosen from the Legislative branch


20 Basic Concepts of Democracy ► Worth of the Individual ► Equality of All Persons  Not necessarily equal conditions, but strive for equal opportunity

21 Basic Concepts of Democracy ► Majority Rule, Minority Rights ► Necessity of Compromise ► Individual Freedom

22 Free Enterprise ► Free Enterprise is the economic system that allows most democracies to work.

23 Free Enterprise ► Four factors of a free enterprise system:  Private ownership  Individual initiative  Profit  Competition

24 How it Works ► The Law of Supply and Demand  When supply is high or demand is low, prices are low  When supply is low or demand is high, prices are high

25 Where does Government Fit in? ► Government always plays a role in regulating an economy  Governments can fully control an economy, or let it be free  The U.S. uses a mixed economy, to protect the public and preserve private ownership

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