Purposes of Government• There are four primary purposes of government. – Maintaining social order:. – Providing public services:.
Purposes of Government (cont.) – Providing security and defense: – Providing for the economy:.
Essential Features of a State• The four essential features of a state include: – population—the people – territory—established boundaries – sovereignty—supreme and absolute authority within its boundaries – government—central institution United States Acquisitions
Origins of the State• Scholars have constructed theories to explain the origins of state.• Evolutionary Theory – The state evolved from the family. – The head of the primitive family served as government authority.
Origins of the State (cont.)• Force Theory – The state was born of force, or the need to resist an enemy. – A state emerged when everyone in an area was brought under the authority of one person or group.• Divine Right Theory – Certain people are chosen by a god or gods to rule.
Origins of the State (cont.)• Social Contract Theory – People make an agreement with the state on how they want to be ruled. Some freedoms may be lost to guarantee security and well being.
Government Systems• There are three primary systems of government: – Unitary system • Gives key powers to the central government. – Federal system • Divides key powers between national and state government.
Government Systems (cont.)• The United States began its federal system by forming a confederacy. – A confederacy is a loose union of independent states.
Reading StrategyCreate a table that highlights the distinguishingfeature of these forms of government: directdemocracy, representative democracy, and republic.
Major Types of Government• According to Aristotle the three major types of governments are:• Autocracy: – One person has all authority. – A monarchy is another form of government in which a king, queen or emperor inherits the throne and heads the state. Comparing Governments
Major Types of Government (cont.)• Oligarchy: – A small group holds power. – Oligarchs derive their power from wealth, social position, military power or a combination of these.• Democracy: – The people govern either directly or through representatives.
Major Types of Government (cont.) – An assembly of people’s representatives may be called a council, a legislature, a congress or a parliament. – In a republic voters elect representatives. • Only a small percentage of people might be empowered to vote.
Characteristics of Democracy• A true democracy is defined by four characteristics: – Individual liberty • All people are as free as possible to develop their talents. – Majority rule with minority rights • Elected representatives enact laws that reflect the will of the majority of lawmakers.
Characteristics of Democracy (cont.) • The rights of the minority are respected and protected. – Free elections • Everyone’s vote carries the same weight. • All candidates have the right to express their views freely. • Citizens are free to help candidates or support issues.
Characteristics of Democracy (cont.) • Legal requirements for voting are kept to a minimum. • Citizens vote by secret ballot without coercion or fear of punishment. – Competing political parties. • A political party is a group of individuals with broad common interests organized to win elections, conduct government and determine public policy.
Characteristics of Democracy (cont.) • Rival parties make elections meaningful by giving voters a choice.
Essential Elements for a Democracy• A successful democracy depends on five essential elements: – Citizen Participation • Citizens must be willing to participate in civic life. – Favorable Economy • The economy must be prosperous and distribute wealth to many members of society.
Essential Elements for a Democracy (cont.) • Free enterprise is the freedom of private business to operate with minimal government regulation. – Widespread Education • A democracy is more likely to succeed in countries where most people are educated.
Essential Elements for a Democracy (cont.) – Strong Civil Society • Civil society is made up of a network of voluntary associations— economic, political, charitable, religious, and many others that exist outside of government.
Essential Elements for a Democracy (cont.) – Social Consensus • A social consensus refers to a country where most people accept democratic values and generally agree about the purpose and limits of government.