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Gov't foundations0


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Gov't foundations0

  1. 1. Foundations of American Democracy <ul><li>If the Constitution was meant to be written in stone it would have been written in stone! </li></ul>
  2. 2. The Foundations of the American System <ul><li>What are the foundations of the American form of government? </li></ul>The essential question which you will have to answer is:
  3. 3. The Foundations of the American System <ul><li>Along the way we will determine: </li></ul><ul><li>* What elements of the US constitutional system evolved from Athens and Rome? </li></ul><ul><li>* What elements are derived from the Magna Carta, the English Petition of Rights, and the English Bill of Rights? </li></ul><ul><li>* What are the fundamental principles of American gov ’ t and law developed by leading European political thinkers </li></ul><ul><li>* Why are the charters of the Virginia Company of London significant? </li></ul><ul><li>* How are the natural rights philosophies of John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau reflected in the Declaration of Independence? </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Foundations of the American System <ul><li>But first let me tell you about </li></ul><ul><li>- mob rule </li></ul><ul><li>- how Rome contributed to the mind-numbing quantity of Law and Order scripts </li></ul><ul><li>- and how a particularly gruesome form of torture led to one of the modern day foundations: “ I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to my death your right to say it ” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Let ’ s Begin With The Ancients
  6. 6. Athens and Rome <ul><li>Democracy = Demos (people) + Kratia (rule) </li></ul><ul><li>In Greece- power wasn ’ t held in hand of one person or even a few but in the hands of 5000 citizens. First come first serve (no saving seats) to the main legislative body, the Assembly. </li></ul><ul><li>Jury duty was considered a civic honor (chosen from a pool of 6000) </li></ul><ul><li>Even judges chosen from this pool (that </li></ul><ul><li>could be anyone!) </li></ul> The Athenian Democratic experiment didn ’ t last too long before Phillip of Macedonia invaded and these noble and enlightened Greeks were crushed by the brutal, armed, and dumb....
  7. 7. Athens and Rome <ul><li>Rome enjoyed a representative form of gov ’ t </li></ul><ul><li>Many of our Founding Fathers borrowed ideas such as bicameral legislature, emphasis on republicanism and civic virtue </li></ul> and an obsession with columns
  8. 8. Athens and Rome <ul><li>Rome ’ s biggest influence may have been on our legal system and the codified key concepts such as “ innocent until proven guilty ” </li></ul><ul><li>of course eventually that Republic gave away to an Empire and the only voting was that which took place in the Colosseum usually involving a large degree of blood-letting and exposed guts </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Magna Carta The English Petition of Rights The English Bill of Rights
  10. 10. The Magna Carta 1215 the wealthy English barons refused to give King John the money he needed to wage war against the French until he signed the Magna Carta. This document codified that no man was above the law (no one said there were not people below the law....) <ul><li>Limited power of the gov ’ t </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>trial by jury </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>due process of law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>habeas corpus </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The English Petition of Rights 1628 English Petition of Rights <ul><li>Men have rights and establishes concept of rule of law </li></ul><ul><li>Basic rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>guarantee of trial by jury </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>protection against marshal law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>protection against quartering of troops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>protection of private property </li></ul></ul> doesn ’ t seem to be much rule of law in Pakistan today
  12. 13. Before the Enlightenment (in the dark ages when they threw the dead bodies in the drinking water) people ’ s rights were very limited and selective. They were special privileges enjoyed by certain groups of people.
  13. 14. The Enlightenment - an age of arrest and torture imposed on citizens who expressed opinions that stood in opposition to prevailing religious, social, political views But what about that world of torture?
  14. 15.
  15. 16. Though it might seem easy, today, to criticize such a passionate emphasis on reason, remember that Voltaire's society tortured people who went against the accepted norm. WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO PAY THAT PRICE TO CHANGE SOCIETY IN WAYS YOU DEEM NECESSARY? Every man is guilty of all the good he didn ’ t do. God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Love truth and pardon error. I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to my death your right to say it.
  16. 17. <ul><li>This is the foundation world of our founding fathers... </li></ul><ul><li>and these are the philosophers who so profoundly influenced what would become our “ little social experiment ” known as the United States of America </li></ul>
  17. 19. John Locke <ul><li>Locke ’ s political philosophy is called the natural rights philosophy </li></ul>
  18. 20. Natural Rights Philosophy <ul><li>What is human nature? What traits of personality and character, if any, do all human beings have in common? </li></ul><ul><li>What should be the purpose of gov ’ t? </li></ul><ul><li>How do people running a gov ’ t get the right to govern? </li></ul><ul><li>How should a gov ’ t be organized? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of gov ’ t should be resisted and fought? </li></ul>
  19. 21. Natural Rights Philosophy <ul><li>You have all been transported to a place with enough natural resources for you to live well but where no one has ever lived before. </li></ul><ul><li>When you arrive you have no means of communicating with people in other parts of the world. </li></ul>
  20. 22. Natural Rights Philosophy Locke ’ s answers to these questions were widely shared by Americans in the 1700s
  21. 23. Natural Rights Philosophy 1. Upon arrival would there be any gov ’ t or laws to control how you lived, what rights or freedoms you exercised, or what property you had? Why? Locke believed there were rules in a state of nature. He called these rules the law of nature. “ The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it which obliges every one.... No one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.... ” They were “ the Laws of Nature and of Nature ’ s God, as Thomas Jefferson called them in the Dec of Independence. Jefferson believed they were laws made by a Supreme Being for the benefit of human beings.
  22. 24. Natural Rights Philosophy 1. Upon arrival would there be any gov ’ t or laws to control how you lived, what rights or freedoms you exercised, or what property you had? Why? Locke believed that most people understood this law of nature through their use of reason and b/c their consciences told them to. BUT not all humans are reasonable or good... There might be a disagreement about the laws of nature. If there was no gov ’ t then no one could interpret or enforce the laws. Of course, said Locke, there would be no gov ’ t in nature because it had yet to be created. A legitimate gov ’ t cannot exist until the people have given their consent to be ruled by it. TJ included this in the D of I when he wrote, “ Gov ’ ts are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.... ”
  23. 25. Natural Rights Philosophy 2. Would anyone have the right to govern you? Would you have the right to govern anyone else? Why? No one would have the right to govern you, nor would you have the right to govern anyone else. The only way would be if consent had been given. If the people to be gov ’ nered have not consented then there is no legitimate gov ’ t
  24. 26. Natural Rights Philosophy 3. Would you have any rights? What would they be? Using his reason to determine what rights where provided for by the laws of nature, Locke asked himself, “ What are things that all people always need and seek, no matter what they believe, no matter when or where they lived? ” Life people want to survive and they want their lives to be free as possible from threats to their security Liberty People want to be as free as possible from the domination of others, to be able to make their own decisions Property people want the freedom to work and gain economic goods such as land, houses, tools, and money which are necessary to survival
  25. 27. Natural Rights Philosophy 4. What might people who were stronger or smarter than others try to do? Why? Locke believed that people are basically reasonable and sociable, but they are also self-interested. Since the only security people would have for the protection of their natural rights would be their own strength or cunning, people who are stronger or smarter would often try to take away the life, liberty, and property of the weak
  26. 28. Natural Rights Philosophy 5. What might the weaker or less sophisticated people try to do? Why? Weaker or less sophisticated people might try to protect themselves by joining together against the strong
  27. 29. Natural Rights Philosophy 6. What might life be like for everyone? Since there would be no laws that everybody agreed upon, and no gov ’ t to enforce them, everybody ’ s rights would be very insecure
  28. 30. What do you think? 1. What are some examples of conflicts that might occur when one individual ’ s rights to life, liberty, property conflict with those of another individual? 2. Should some rights be given more protection than other rights? Why? 3. The natural rights philosophy claims that gov ’ t is based on consent. How do we give consent? How do we withdraw it? 4. Many people today believe the rights to life, liberty, and property include the right to public education and health care. Would the founders have agreed? Do you agree? Why?
  29. 31. In summary... how mob rule, civic virtue, and torture led to the foundations of our form of gov ’ t
  30. 32. <ul><li>Human rights </li></ul><ul><li>political and economic rights </li></ul><ul><li>consumer rights </li></ul><ul><li>parental rights </li></ul>* In describing the concept of natural rights, philosophers like Locke were making a bold departure form the previous term of what we would see as “ limited ” rights today. * Locke and others did not think rights were limited to situations of birth. The individual not the group was the most important unit. Society is only a collection of individuals, all whom share the same right to pursue his/her own welfare. * Natural rights of life, liberty, and property were the essence of humanity. Therefore they are unalienable.
  31. 33. * Gov ’ ts and societies based on natural rights guarantee specific rights to preserve our natural rights. * Under the US Constitution, you possess civil rights, securing such things as freedom of conscience and privacy, and protecting you from unfair discrimination by gov ’ t or others * You also possess certain political rights like the right to vote or run for office, which give you control over gov ’ t. Such civil and political rights serve to protect natural rights to life, liberty, and property
  32. 34. * For Locke and others the greatest problem was finding a way to protect each person ’ s natural rights (since not all people are good.) * The best way to solve this is for each individual to agree with others to create and live under a gov ’ t and to give it power to enforce laws. This kind of agreement is called a social contract. * Of course you have to give up your absolute right to do anything to receive the protection. You have to agree to obey the limits put on you by the laws created by the gov ’ t.