The cartoon was a reaction to Bush's response to a question on what would happen if Iraqi elections produced a fundamentalist Islamic government. As Bush was quoted: "I will be disappointed. But democracy is democracy," Bush said. "If that's what the people choose, that's what the people choose." What's disturbing about this quote is that it leaves the impression that Bush is unaware of what makes this country great. It's not simply that we practice democracy, it lies in the fact that we are republic based on a constitution that enshrines individual rights. This is a point that is lost in much of today's political debate, but is captured in the editorial cartoon superbly. Democracy is not an end and of itself, it must be limited by laws that protect the individual from the majority vote.
Chapter 1 - What is Government?
What is the state?What is the state?
““state” v. “nation”state” v. “nation”
State – political community in a precise territory
Nation – large group of people unified by a common
race, language, custom or religion
When states are created by people unified by these
factors (nations), they are called nation-states (ie. France,
consensus – states are more stable when people share
common beliefs and values
Distribution – migration of people can shift power from one
part of the state to another
Territory – established boundaries
Sovereignty – the government makes and enforces its
own laws with no interference from outsiders
Government – how a state keeps order in society,
provides services to its people, and enforces laws
“states” under the Articles of
One state, united by a strong central
govt. under the constitution
OriginsOrigins ofof thethe StateState
Why did people create the earliest governments? There
are several theories.
Evolutionary Theory – grew from families’ needs for more
Force Theory – grew of the need to keep out enemies (ie.
City-states building walls, then coming under the control of
one person or group)
Divine Right Theory – rulers chosen by god(s) (ie. Ancient
Social Contract Theory
Social ContractSocial Contract
Challenge to divine right theory (1600s)
Thomas Hobbes & John Locke
There is a “state of nature” when there
is no govt
To create a govt, a social contract was
people gave up their rights to the
state in exchange for protection
govt. promised to preserve
people’s natural rights – LIFE,
All of the students in your school were transported to a
place with enough natural resources for you to live well,
but where no one had lived before. When you arrive,
you have no means of communicating with people in
other parts of the world.
When people decide to form the socialWhen people decide to form the social
contracts that we call governments, theycontracts that we call governments, they
make many different decisions about howmake many different decisions about how
their government will look.their government will look.
1. Maintain social order (resolve conflict between
groups w/ law and order)
2. provide public services (things people can’t do
3. Security and defense
4. Making economic decisions (divide scarce
resources, create a currency, encouraging trade,
developing natural resources, etc.)
Purposes of the GovtPurposes of the Govt.
How does govt fulfillHow does govt fulfill
these functions?these functions?
1. Legitimacy – willingness of the
people to obey the govt.
2. Use of force – police, courts,
Govt SystemsGovt Systems
1. Unitary – all power is with
central govt. (ex. France, Great
2. Federal – power is divided
between central and state
govts. (ex. US!)
provides the rules for the government
Ideals people believe in
Structure of the govt.
Supreme law for the country
Constitutional govt. – LIMITS the powers of those who
govern (China does NOT have this!)
What happens whenWhat happens when
govt. is not limited?govt. is not limited?
Tiananmen Square – Beijing, China, 1989
government in which political power is exercised bygovernment in which political power is exercised by allall
citizenscitizens, either directly or through their elected, either directly or through their elected
There are two kinds ofThere are two kinds of DemocraciesDemocracies……
Characteristics ofCharacteristics of
Individual LibertyIndividual Liberty
Majority Rule with Minority RightsMajority Rule with Minority Rights
Free electionsFree elections
Competing political partiesCompeting political parties
Direct DemocracyDirect Democracy
All citizens participate in governmentAll citizens participate in government..
All citizens can create public policy if they wantAll citizens can create public policy if they want
Ex: In ancient Athens, Greece, they heldEx: In ancient Athens, Greece, they held
assemblies where citizens voted to pass laws.assemblies where citizens voted to pass laws.
no representatives in government: The citizensno representatives in government: The citizens
vote on everything!vote on everything!
Representative DemocracyRepresentative Democracy
all citizens participate in government, BUTall citizens participate in government, BUT
People elect representatives who vote on lawsPeople elect representatives who vote on laws
for themfor them
Rep. answer to the people through electionsRep. answer to the people through elections
Rep. are held accountable by a constitutionRep. are held accountable by a constitution
Now that we’ve talked about
we can move on to
forms of government
where only one
person is in control…
A form of government in which political power is controlledA form of government in which political power is controlled
byby oneone individual such as a monarch, dictator, emperor,individual such as a monarch, dictator, emperor,
WeWe’re going to talk about two kinds of’re going to talk about two kinds of autocracyautocracy……
Rule by kings, queens, princes, andRule by kings, queens, princes, and
princesses… sometimes by other names, butprincesses… sometimes by other names, but
always MONARCHS!always MONARCHS!
Leaders usually gain their power because theirLeaders usually gain their power because their
parents were rulers too.parents were rulers too.
Some modern monarchies like Spain and JapanSome modern monarchies like Spain and Japan
have constitutions.have constitutions.
power is not inherited, but ispower is not inherited, but is
gained by force (military or political)gained by force (military or political)
Dictators have absolute control over the livesDictators have absolute control over the lives
of their citizens; people are not allowed toof their citizens; people are not allowed to
voice their negative opinionsvoice their negative opinions
North KoreaNorth Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il was considered a’s leader Kim Jong Il was considered a
dictator. His son Kim Jong-un now rules.dictator. His son Kim Jong-un now rules.
““Rule by few”Rule by few”
Power can be based on several things:Power can be based on several things:
Military strength = Military JuntaMilitary strength = Military Junta
Family power = AristocracyFamily power = Aristocracy
Religious control = Theocratic OligarchyReligious control = Theocratic Oligarchy
Oligarchies can often come from or lead toOligarchies can often come from or lead to
other forms of government (like autocracies)other forms of government (like autocracies)
““Theo” means “god” in Greek… so if aTheo” means “god” in Greek… so if a
government is THEO-cratic that means it is ruledgovernment is THEO-cratic that means it is ruled
by… That’s right! A god or higher power!by… That’s right! A god or higher power!
Leaders (Leaders (autocraticautocratic oror oligarchicoligarchic) are usually) are usually
religious leaders and society uses religious lawreligious leaders and society uses religious law
to settle its disputesto settle its disputes
Example: The Islamic Republic of Iran is a modernExample: The Islamic Republic of Iran is a modern
theocracy that uses the holy Islamic book, Thetheocracy that uses the holy Islamic book, The
QurQur’an, as its guide.’an, as its guide.
No government at all…No government at all…
Then who makes and
No government at all…No government at all…
In an anarchy there is no government to makeIn an anarchy there is no government to make
or enforce laws.or enforce laws.
What do you
think that would
Essential Elements ofEssential Elements of
Participation of citizens
A good economy
Strong civil society
Pre ClassPre Class
Imagine yourself in a community where all
order and authority have broken down. Violent
lawlessness is widespread. Do you think any
government is better than none? Explain your
Relationship BetweenRelationship Between
equal and both
by leading party