Introduction to American Government Principles of Government
The State• Aristotle: Greek philosopher who coined the title and gave it meaning.• State: A political community that occupies a definite territory and has an organized government with the power to make and enforce laws.• Nation: People united under common bonds (ex. Race, religion, language, customs)
Features of the State• Population: People in a state• Territory: The established boundaries of a state through war, negotiation, seizure or purchase.• Sovereignty: The Supreme authority of a state within its boundaries (power of government)• Government: The institution that maintains social order, provides public services, and binds people together.
Theories of the Origin of the State1. Evolutionary Theory • Family Based • Head of the Government is the head of the family. • Example: Clans of Britain or Scotland in the times of “Braveheart”
Theories of the Origin of the State2. Force Theory • People brought together under the guidance of one strong ruler. • Ruler maintains dominance through coercion and threat. • Ex. Saddam Hussein
Theories of the Origin of the State3. Divine Right Theory • God has chosen the leader, therefore to go against the leader is to go against God. • Ex. Aztecs, Egyptians, European monarchs.
Theories of the Origin of the State4. Social Contract • People agree to a government for the good of the whole and for protection. • People have the right to overthrow that government if it is not taking care of their needs, according to John Locke.
Purposes of Government1. Maintain Social Order: control conflict in the population.2. Public Services: Building recreation and providing for the general well-being.3. National Security: Feeling safe is a must for government to survive. • Army, Navy, Air Force, Police Department4. Economic Decisions: Taxes, Spending, Aid to other nations.
Introduction to American Government Formation of Governments
Government Systems1. Unitary System • Government gives all key powers to the national government with no real division of powers • Example: Great Britain, Italy2. Federal System • Divides power between the national and state levels to best serve the people • Example: The U.S. (too big)
Constitutions1. Constitution • A plan that lays out the rules of a government. • Sets out the ideals that people share. • Establishes a structure of government. • Provides the supreme law of the land.
Politics1. Politics: efforts to control the conduct and policies of a government. • Helps to settle disagreements in a civilized manner. • Promotes different points of view for discussion • Defines the stances on issues for the common people.
World View1. Inequalities between nations • Industrialized • Countries with large industries, advanced technologies, and solid economies (U.S.) • Developing • Countries who are in the beginning stages of economic development, attracting corporations, and advancing their technologies (Brazil, Mexico) • Third World • Countries with very little hope of advancing their industries or economy to a stable and strong level (Somalia, Sudan, Indonesia)
World View2. Contact from Different Nations • Making friends and enemies politically affects the ability to advance economically. • Differences in policy, religious beliefs, colors of skin, and economic factors affect the ability of states to get along.
World View3. International Organizations • Multinational Corporations • Companies that have expanded their business to include multiple countries and are not tied to one country.
World View3. International Organizations • Peacekeeping Organizations • Groups that include representatives from around the globe to promote peace and understanding, but are not under the control of any one government.
World View3. International Organizations • Terrorist Groups • People who collectively work to destroy the status quo and disrupt business and political centers of the world.