• WHAT IS CIVICS AND WHY DO WE STUDY IT
• WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CITIZEN
• IT’S ALL ABOUT LIBERTY, EQUALITY, AND JUSTICE
• DUTY VS. RESPONSIBILITY
• A BRIEF HISTORY OF WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE GOT HERE
CIVICS IN OUR LIVES –
I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CITIZEN?
• DEFINITION - A LEGALLY RECOGNIZED MEMBER OF A COUNTRY.
A. THE WORD CIVIS IS LATIN FOR CITIZEN; CIVICS IS THE STUDY OF CITIZENSHIP AND CITIZENS
INTERACTION WITH GOVERNMENT
B. IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHERE ONE LIVES AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WHAT TYPE OF GOVERNMENT
IS IN PLACE.
I. ALMOST ALL COUNTRIES ALLOW YOU TO VOTE BUT SOME HAVE
QUESTIONABLE ELECTIONS – FRAUD.
II. SOME REQUIRE YOU TO PAY TAXES OR SERVE IN THE MILITARY
BEING AN AMERICAN CITIZEN
1. Good Citizenship includes being a productive and active member of society.
There are three main themes that we base our view of good citizenship
•Each citizen has the same right to enjoy benefits granted by the US Constitution
- All are equal under the law
i. Freedom from harsh or cruel control
ii. Freedom of Speech and Religion travel or live anywhere, have a fair trial,
i. Freedom from harsh or cruel control
ii. Freedom of Speech and Religion travel or live anywhere, have a fair
i. It is your Civic Duty to protect these rights for all Americans.
Duty = Must do
Responsibility = Should do.
ii. Laws and agencies that enforce the laws are present to help ensure
justice for all or Civil Rights
BEING A GOOD CITIZEN
• RESPONSIBLE FAMILY MEMBERS
• RESPECT AND OBEY LAWS
• RESPECT RIGHTS AND PROPERTY OF OTHERS
• LOYALTY TO COUNTRY
• USE NATURAL RESOURCES WISELY
• BE INFORMED ON NATIONALAND WORLD ISSUES
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WHO ARE US CITIZENS
i.History of US
1.Unless you are 100% Native American, your ancestors/relatives migrated to
the U.S. from another country
a.1700’s – 1800’s - (England, France, Germany, Africans)
b.1800’s – 1850’s – (Ireland, Germany, England, China)
c.1870’s – 1915 – (Italian, Polish, Slav, Russian)
d.1950’s – (Mexican, South America, Korean, Vietnamese)
1.Are we a melting pot or a salad bowl?
*Melting pot – different ethnic groups “melt” into one common “American” identity
*Salad bowl – we are all thrown together but we retain our identity (you can tell a carrots
from peppers, from lettuce, etc.)
All Are Welcome???
1.Throughout our history there have been times when (we) groups have both accepted and rejected certain types of imm
coming into the U.S.
i. Why reject? Language, color, habits, take jobs, etc.
A.Examples – Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Quota Acts of 1920’s, Immigration Act of 1990
B.Immigration Act of 1990 says:
i.675,000 immigrants are allowed into the US a year
ii.People with specific skills and relatives of US citizens are given preference
iii.People with job skills
iv.Aliens – Permanent residents in US who are NOT citizens
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Becoming a U.S. Citizen
i.Citizenship by birth - As long as you are born on US soil or a US territory you are a
ii.Citizenship by Naturalization –
1.At least 18 years of age and of “good moral character”
2.Apply for permanent residency (7 years)
3.Apply for citizenship (submit photographs and other documents)
5.Be interviewed and pass tests on Civics, U.S. History and English
6.Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States
3. Legal Aliens – a citizen of another country who has been given permission for work or school
(green cards or visas) to enter into the US. 18.7 million -reside in the US today
4. Illegal Aliens/Immigrants
a. Those who break the law and enter into the US illegally
b. Why do they do this? Better life, jobs, health care, schooling, etc.
c. Big Issue – Border Control
a. These do not count toward the quota and they are allowed to enter into the US because
or political/religious asylum
America TodayI.How many?
i.A Census is taken every 10 years.
1.2000 Census said 280 million (now over 300 million)
a.Count people for representation in House of Representatives
A. Demographics or characteristics of people i.e. # of children, ethnic groups, poverty level per area, etc.
1990 – 2000 saw the largest increase in population ever and it is expected to happen again before 2010
I.Where did they come from?
i.Birthrate vs. Death rate
II.A different America today
i.Many single parent households
ii.Fewer large families (1.89 children per family)
iii.Older Americans (ex. 1900 – 4 % were > 65 years old but today 13% are > than 65)
iv.80% live in urban areas or the city /suburbs (Before 1920 more Americans lived in a rural or country area.
v.Rising population in the Sunbelt or warm weather states from NC to Arizona
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