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Principles of government 1


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  • 1. Principles of Government Chapter 1
  • 2. What is Government?
    • Government is the institution through which society makes and enforces its public policies.
    • Government is made up of those people who exercise its powers , all those who have authority and control over people
  • 3. What are public policies?
    • The public policies of a government are, in short, all of those things a government decides to do.
    • Public policies cover issues ranging from taxation, defense, education, crime and health care to transportation, the environment, civil rights, and working conditions.
  • 4. Powers of Government
    • Legislative power -power to make laws
    • Executive power -power to execute, enforce, and administer law
    • Judicial power -power to interpret government
  • 5. What is a constitution?
    • A constitution is the body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a government.
  • 6. What is a democracy?
    • A democracy is a government in which powers rests with a majority of the people.
  • 7. Types of Democracy
    • Direct Democracy- In a direct democracy, citizens vote on all public policy decisions themselves. Direct democracy does not exist at the national level anywhere in the world today.
    • Representative Democracy - In a representative democracy, a small group of persons are chosen by the people to act as their representatives. This is the type of democracy we have in America.
  • 8. Basic Concepts of Democracy
    • The American concept of democracy rests on these basic notions:
      • A recognition of the fundamental worth and dignity of every person
      • A respect for the equality of all persons
      • A faith in majority rule and an insistence upon minority rights
      • An acceptance of the necessity of compromise
      • An insistence upon the widest possible degree of individual freedom
  • 9. Geographic Distribution of Power
    • Unitary government- All powers held by the government belong to a single, central agency.
    • Confederate government or Confederation- All or almost all powers of the government belong to independent states
    • Federal government -Powers of the government are divided between federal (national), state, and local governments
  • 10. Unitary Government
    • A unitary system is a system of government in which power is centralized in the national government.
    • Regional governments only exercise powers given by the national government.
  • 11. Confederate Government
    • A Confederate government is a system of government in which power resides in the regions, which are independent states.
    • The central gov’t gets power from regional governments.
  • 12. Federal System of Government
    • In a federal system of gov’t, the constitution divides power between the national, state, and local governments.
    • Main advantage = the flexibility it gives state and local gov’ts in meeting their specific needs, while assuring that the national government can address widespread goals and issues.