1.foundations of american governmentPresentation Transcript
American Government – Unit 1
Do Now: Summarize the purpose of government. Do you think all people feel the same way about government?
Origins of Government Aristotle- a scholar in Ancient Greece, one of the first students of government [polis]. Politics, democracy, and republic- originated in ancient Greece & Rome.
The State Originally comes from the Latin word “to stand” In the U.S.A means- a political community that occupies a definite territory and has an organized government with the power to make and enforce laws without the approval from any higher authority.
Essential Features of aState 4 features: Population Territory Sovereignty Government
Population The nature of a state’s population affects its stability States that share a general and political consensus have the most stable government Mobility affects states too- millions of Americans move every year This leads to political power shifting Since the House of Representatives is based on population, the census can lead to state’s losing or gaining power.
Territory States have established boundaries i.e.- Continental boundaries: Atlantic/Pacific Oceans Recognized Borders w/ Canada & Mexico Through purchase, negotiation and war- the U.S. has gained more territory
Sovereignty Political sovereignty- means that the state has supreme and absolute authority within its territorial boundaries It has complete independence and complete power to make laws, shape foreign policy, & determine its own course of action In theory no state has the right to interfere with the internal affairs of another
Government 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
Theories of the Origin ofState •Evolutionary Theory •Force Theory •Divine Right Theory •Social Contract Theory
The Purposes ofGovernment1. Maintain social order2. Provide public services3. Provide for national security and public defense4. Provide for an control the economic ststem
Respect my Authority! Decisions of government can be enforced upon ALL society Derive their authority from their legitimacy and their ability to use coercive force Legitimacy is based on the consent of the people Coercive force derives from the police, judicial and military institutions of government
Maintaining Social Order Through laws can resolve social conflict Provides structure like courts to help resolve disagreements orderly Places limits on what people can do An effective government will allow citizens to plan for the future, get an education, raise a family and live orderly lives.
Providing Public Services Providing essential services to make community life possible Promoting public safety i.e. Government inspectors of meat and food State legislators passing laws that require driving tests What other public services can you think of?
National Security Protect against attacks from other countries or terrorist agencies In a world with spy satellites, international terrorism, huge armies, computer hackers- this becomes a complex job Also handles relationships with other countries and provides economic security by enacting trade agreements with other countries States have the power to form agreements with other countries, however the federal government can limit that
Making Economic Decisions Providing a national currency Distributes benefits and public securities Attempts to stimulate growth and stability via controlling inflation, encouraging trade and regulating the development of natural resources
Government Systems Unitary Federal
Constitutions and Government A Constitution is a plan that provides the rules for government. Major Purposes: 1. It sets out ideals that the people bound by the constitution believe and share 2. Establishes the basic structure of government and defines the governments powers and duties 3. It provides the supreme law for the country
Constitutions May be written or unwritten U.S. is the oldest written  still serving a nation today Other key ones: France, Kenya, India, Italy and Switzerland Great Britain, has an unwritten constitution based on hundreds of years of leg. Acts, court decisions and customs
Constitutional Government All governments HOWEVER- have a constitution constitutional in the sense that government is a they have some limited government, plan for organizing unlike the Republic an operating the of China Government. i.e. Republic of China
Incomplete Guides Constitutions are incomplete for 2 reasons: No written constitution by itself can spell out laws, customs, and ideas that grow up around the document itself ○ I.E.- FDR elected 4x, previous it was custom not law that limited to 2 terms- the 22 Amendment changed this A constitution does not always reflect the actual practice of a government in a country ○ I.E.- China has a constitution with statements about basic rights, freedoms, & duties of citizens yet has a police force to spy on citizens and punish those with opposing views
A Statement of Goals- ThePreamble
A Framework forGovernment Main body of a Constitution is the constitution sets out supreme law for a plan for states government Constitutional law U.S. describes primarily concerns relationship b/w the extent and limits national gov & state of government Divided into articles power and the right and sections- U.S. of citizens has 7 articles/21 sections
Politics Effort to control or influence the conduct and policies of government People take part in politics when joining citizens’ groups protesting higher taxes or when they meet with mayors about street repairs
Governing in the 20 thCentury Industrialized Nations vs. Developing Nations U.S. Saharan Countries Independence- means that nations must interact or depend on one another either economically or politically 1993- NAFTA- affects goods produced and sold b/w U.S., Canada & Mexico
Murky waters U.S. depended on Middle East for oil supplies 1990- Pres. Bush sent troops to Saudi Arabia after Iraq invaded Kuwait War threatened to break out and people feared an oil shortage in U.S. U.S. & allies defeated Iraq in the Persian Gulf War but tensions continued 1996- 27 missile attacks against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein threatened oil producing countries
Nonstate International Groups 3 categories: PLO [Palestine1. Political Liberation movements such Organization] as national General Motors liberation Nabisco movements Mitsubishi2. Multinational Sony corporations United Nations3. International organizations
Autocracy- 1 person Totalitarian Dictatorship- ideas of a single leader or group of leaders are glorified. Government seeks to control aspects of social/economic life. i.e. Hitler- Nazi Germany Monarchy- a King, Queen, or Emperor exercises supreme powers of Gov. Usually inherit position [Absolute vs. Constitutional who shares gov. powers w/ elected legis. And serve in a ceremonial capacity] i.e. Saudi Arabia & Great Britain
Oligarchy- Small Group Small group holds power which derives from wealth, military, social position or a combination. Sometimes religion is source of power- Oligarchies usually suppress all political opposition- sometimes ruthlessly Communism I.E. China
Democracy- Ruled by thePeople Key idea- people hold sovereign power. Pericles: “Our constitution is named a democracy because it is in the hands not of the few, but of the many” Abraham Lincoln: “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”
Direct Democracy people govern themselves by voting on issues individually as citizens- no country today does this Exists only in small societies where citizens can actually meet regularly to discuss and decide key issues and problems
Representative Democracy people elect representatives and give them the responsibility and power to make laws and conduct government I.E.- [U.S]. An assembly of the people’s representatives may be called a council, a legislature, a congress or a parliament
Republic Voters hold sovereign power. Elected representatives are responsible to the people exercise that power Most American view representative democracy, republic and constitutional republic mean the same thing: a system of limited government where the people are the ultimate source of governmental power.
Characteristics ofDemocracy Individual liberty- requires that all people be as free as possible to develop their own capacities Government in a democracy works to promote the kind of equality in which all have equal opportunity Government decisions be based on majority rule Constitution helps ensure rights of the minority
Free Elections Give people the chance to choose their leaders and voice their opinions on various issues Everyone’s vote carries the same weight All candidates have the right to express their views freely giving voters access to competing ideas Citizens are free to help candidates or support issues Legal requirements for voting [i.e.: age, residence, citizenship] are kept to a minimum Citizens may vote freely by secret ballot without coercion or fear of punishment
Competing Political Parties Rival parties help Give voters a choice make elections among candidates meaningful Help simplify and focus attention of key issues for voters
The Soil of Democracy Active Citizen Participation Serving as a juror, voting, informing themselves of the issues, work for candidates, run for government Free Enterprise Stable- better able to support democratic governments People out of work or unable to feed families become more concerned about security than voting or political rights
The Seeds to Success More likely to succeed Civil Society- a complex with an educated public network of voluntary associations, economic Education is the great groups, religious equalizer organizations, and many other kinds of groups that exist independently of government Give citizens means to take responsibility for protecting their rightsWidespread Education Civil Society
Social Consensus General agreement about the purpose and limits of government
Role of Economic Systems1. What and how much should be produced2. How goods and services should be produced3. Who gets the goods and services that are produced Capitalism, Socialism, & Communism answer these differently
Capitalism1. private ownership and control of property and economic resources2. Free enterprise3. Competition among businesses4. Freedom of choice5. Possibility of profits
History of Capitalism 1776- Adam Smith, Scottish philosopher and economist wrote The Wealth of Nations Concept of Laissez- Faire came about Government role strictly limited to those few actions to ensure free compeition
Governmental Influence 1900s- economy of the U.S. increased Government has grown and became the single largest buyer of goods and services in the country Regulated the economy for varying purposes Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act The Great Depression of the 1930s left millions without job- therefore Social Security and programs to aid unemployed sprung up
Mixed-Market Economies Free enterprise + government decisions in market place = government keeps competition free and fair and protects the public interest
Socialism1. The distribution of wealth and economic opportunities equally among the people2. Society’s control through its government, of all major decisions about production3. Public ownership of most land, of factories, and of other means of production
Democratic Socialism The people have basic human rights and have some control over government officials through free elections and multiparty systems BUT government owns the basic means of production and makes most economic decisions Opponents claim socialism stifles individual initiative and high taxes hinder economic growth and leads to big government
Karl Marx Karl Marx [1818-1883] German thinker, writer- a socialist who advocated violent revolution. Published the Communist Manifesto & Das Kapital Believed that in industrial nations the population is divided into capitalists [bourgeoisie] and the workers [proletariat] Capitalism is a ruling class because they use their economic power to force their will on the workers
Marx and Communism Believed wages in a capitalist system would never rise above a subsistence level- just enough for workers to survive Predicted class struggles Promoted Communism- one class evolving, property all held in common and no need for government
Command Economy Communist nations believe government planners decide how much to produce, what to produce and how to distribute the goods and services produced Top-down management State owns the land, natural resources, industry, banks and transportation facilities as well as mass communications