This is an interesting distinction … it’s something that often puzzles me when I read about history … because you’ll read about something such as “the Magyars invaded from the east” or “the Huns invaded” … and I think – Who are these people? Where did they come from? I’m not sure anyone really knows, except maybe anthropologists who study ancient peoples. A “nation” is a group of people with historic ties … it’s a group that for centuries or maybe thousands of years has been a cultural community with a common language, customs, often religion, and so on. Ideally, a nation would have its own state. But … Next we come to the word state (which I would say is a synonym for “country”). States are formed through political action: through agreements, treaties, wars, or other, stronger countries. Note that there are two different definitions of “state”: 1) country; and 2) a smaller area within a country, such as California. You have to use context clues to know which one they’re talking about. Sometimes, “states” or countries, are formed that split “nations,” or ethnic groups, apart OR combine several ethnic groups together who might not want to be together, and this can cause major problems, such as in Africa. Another example would be the USSR. Can anyone tell us what happened there? (see next slide) Two groups that have always interested me, because I didn’t quite get it about this state vs. nation business, are Kurds and Basques. To sum it up, nations or ethnic groups are a more natural and historic grouping. States or countries are artificially formed. Can you think of some examples of states? Nations?
You can see that the Kurds live in areas of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria
You can see more clearly on the small map that the Basques live in the mountains of a small area of Spain and France. They have their own food – I’ve been to a wonderful Basque restaurant. Both these groups have been trying to gain their own state and self-rule for a very long time.
Population. Synonym: people. The more the population shares a general political and social consensus, or agreement about basic beliefs, the more stable the government will be. Territory. A state has established territory. However the exact location or shape of political boundaries may cause conflict. Sovereignty – a state has absolute authority within its territorial boundaries, to create laws, shape foreign policy, and so on. Government – the institution through which the state maintains social order, provides public services, and enforces decisions.
Ask students to give examples of all the following: Maintain social order. There’s an assumption that when people live together, conflicts will arise. Provide public services. Provide national security. Make economic decisions. These may include: Welfare for the needy. Aid to other countries. Social Security.
Legitimacy At some point people decided they wanted this form of government. People can not vote for representatives if they’re not happy with them. Do all governments have legitimacy? (No – there are many governments throughout the world which constituents are not very happy with. What are some examples? (communist governments, authoritarian governments) Ability to use coercive force Government is the only institution in our lives that can force us to do things – follow the laws, pay taxes, fight in wars. The idea is that there is a good reason why government forces us to do things. But not everyone thinks so. This is one reason people may disagree about political policies.
(referring to a map might help for the following) Let’s think for a minute about how countries are organized. In the US we have our country, the United States, and the what are the next smaller units or divisions within our country called? (states) In the country of Canada, name some of the smaller units. What are the smaller units called? (provinces) In Mexico, name some smaller units. What are they called? (states) There’s a whole chapter coming up on federalism … while our country was first forming its constitution and laws, of course, there were endless struggles over who should have more power: federal government or state government.
Does this make things more clear or more confusing?
Constitutional government Does it mean “a government with a constitution”? (This is a trick question …) (No – every government has some sort of constitution.) He book kind of trashes China … describes how the Chinese constitution goes on and on about people’s rights and freedoms, but they really don’t have many. Because the government is totalitarian … it controls every little thing, and even spies on its own citizen quite a bit. You could think of “constitutional government” as governments that actually follow their constitution rather than seizing power. They’re always incomplete. Book: Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. You can’t have a law for everything that might arise in the future. Preamble – you’ve probably heard ours many times. It’s only one sentence, but says a lot.
Partner share: what do you think is the difference between government and politics? Special interests – groups that try to influence politics. Special interests may be related to: Our occupation or how we make a living (teacher, etc.) Responsibilities we have (aging parents) Wanting to make the world better.
Partner share: do you agree with this? Discussion of whether people are out for themselves or seek the public good … a la John Adams (Revolutionary Characters). Are there any struggles of this nature that you’re aware of or particularly involved with? First sentence is the selfish part … second sentence is the unselfish part! Our needs and wants … our desire to make the world a better place, make a difference, leave a legacy. Our Founding Fathers were horrified by party politics or “factionalism,” as they called it, before there were actual political parties. The Founding Fathers sort of turned on each other as they disagreed … Washington, Adams and Hamilton became leading federalists … Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine were leading anti-federalists … James Madison started out as a federalist and then became an anti-federalist allied with Jefferson. The Founding Fathers felt very hurt and betrayed by each other at the time. But as time went on it became clear that political parties were actually a good thing … that people have some fundamentally different views, and need an accepted way to express them.
Read and pronounce Key Terms out loud Read “Find Out” and ‘Understanding Concepts” out loud Read “Cover Story” out loud
What is the type of autocracy where one person is glorified and has total control of every aspect of his subjects’ lives? (totalitarian dictatorship) What are some examples of totalitarian dictatorships? (Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin) What is the type of autocracy that was common in the 1400’s – 1700’s, where a king of queen had complete and unlimited power to rule? (absolute monarchy) What is the type of monarchy that is more common today, in which a monarch shares power with elected legislatures, and they serve mainly as ceremonial leaders of their country? (constitutional monarchy) What countries these days are usually oligarchies? (Communist countries, such as China) Who ultimately holds the power in a democracy? (the people) What is the type of democracy in which the people themselves meet and debate and vote on issues, without using elected representatives to do this for them? (Direct Democracy) What country in ancient history had a direct democracy? (Greece) What is the type of democracy used in which there are too many people for them to all get together to govern, so they elect others to make laws for them? (representational democracy) What is the type of democracy in which voters are the source of the government’s authority? (Republic) Are countries with “Republic” or “People’s Republic of” in their name necessarily republics? (no)
Does “individual liberty” mean complete freedom? (no) What are the constraints on liberty? (people must follow laws) What are some characteristics of free elections? (One person, one vote Candidates may express their views freely Citizen may help candidate or support issues Minimal voting requirements Secret ballot) What are some benefits of political parties? (simplify and focus attention on issues; manage conflict; hold each other accountable by serving as “loyal opposition”) What may the political party that is out of power be called? (“loyal opposition”)
How do people actively participate in democracy? (be informed, vote, serve on juries, work for candidates) What are some characteristics of a favorable economy? (minimal extremes of wealth and poverty, large middle class, stable and growing economy) What has tended to happen historically when there is rampant unemployment or a depression? (dictators topple democracy and take over) Why is widespread education important? (so voters will make informed decisions, and so economy will keep growing) What do they mean by “civil society”? (non-governmental organizations and groups that may be religious, business, recreational, or exist to provide aid or promote issues) Social consensus – what must people agree on? (basic values, purpose and limits of government)
Open book to Ch. 1-4, p. 26 Read the headings, look at pictures (themselves?_ Any questions that come to mind? Could read “Cover Story” on p. 26 Do you think their enterprise worked? Do we need a travel search engine? What do you think of the name and logo? Their site is dead. My guiding questions: What are the differences between Socialism and Communism? Is communism dead? Does communism work? What have the results of communism been? Is capitalism a success? Connect to prior knowledge: What are some differences between capitalism and communism?
(Is it realistic, possible or desirable?)
(Is it realistic, possible or desirable?)
Repressive gov’t: Controlled and censored the mass media, restricted religious worship, and silenced political dissent. QUESTION: What have been some of the results of communism – partner share and write.
QUESTION: What have been some of the results of capitalism – good and bad – partner share and write.
High standard of living Has created huge personal debt. Can it be sustained? Why are we spending so much? War in Iraq Social spending – welfare, etc. What are the “ticking time bomb” problems? Mortgage crisis Social security Huge government debt, mostly financed by China, which could pull out any time Environment – global warming
Government ch. 1 - principles of gov't
1-1 Principles of
State: Synonym: country. “Political community that
occupies a definite territory and has an organized
government with the power to make and enforce
laws without approval from any higher authority.”
• There are about 200 states in the world.
Nation: Synonym: ethnic group. “Group of people
united by bonds of race, language, custom,
tradition, and sometimes religion.”
Nation-state: “A country in which the territory of
both the nation and the state coincide.”
The relationship between a country’s
national government and the government of
its states or smaller units may be either:
• Unitary – national government has all the
power; may delegate some to states.
• Federal – power is divided between national
and state governments.
“Federal” also has two meanings:
1) Federal as in federalism. Power is divided
between the nation and the states.
2) Pertaining to a nation (country) rather than a
state. i.e. federal laws vs. state laws.
• Note that “federal” and “national” usually
mean the same thing.
• Definition: A plan that provides the rules for
– Describes country’s ideals.
– Establishes the structure of the government.
– Supreme law of the land.
• May be written or unwritten.
• U.S. Constitution is the oldest one still being used
in the world!
• Constitutional government – Synonym: limited
government. constitution has authority to place
clearly recognized limits on the powers of those who
govern. Not totalitarian.
• Constitutions are always incomplete.
• Constitutions usually have a preamble – sets forth
goals and purposes of government.
• Constitutions are usually divided into articles and
• Constitutional Law – involves interpretation and
application of the Constitution, which is the
“supreme law of the land.”
Politics & Government
• Government: Institution through which the state
maintains social order, provides public services,
and enforces binding decisions on citizens.
• Politics: Effort to control or influence the
conduct and policies of government.
• Special Interests: groups with a particular
agenda that try to influence politics.
Politics & Government (cont’d)
• “… there is a continual struggle over what benefits
and services government should provide, and who
should pay for them. Through politics, individuals
and groups seek to maximize the benefits they get
from the government while they try to reduce the
cost of those benefits. Through politics, people also
seek to use government to turn their values and
beliefs into public policy …” (Glencoe textbook)
• “Through politics, conflicts in society are managed.”
Governing in a Complex World
Nonstate International Groups
• National liberation organizations
• Multinational corporations
• International organizations (UN, WTO, etc.)
What is the difference between
Socialism and Communism?
Communism - “from each according to his
ability, to each according to his need.” It is a
“dream” that has never been implemented –
the idea of a classless society that produces an
abundance of goods that are given freely.
Socialism – “from each according to his ability,
to each according to his deed.” What has been
implemented in Russia, China and other
communist countries. It is seen as a “stage” in
the progression from capitalism to communism.
What are the economic difference
between Socialism and Capitalism?
• Market economy
• Private ownership
• Planned / command
• Public ownership of
means of production
What are the political differences
between Socialism and Capitalism?
• Two party political
• Individual freedoms
• Right to criticize
and oppose state
• Single party
• Repressive gov’t
• Criticism and
Democratic Socialism: democratic political system
with partly socialist economic system –
Results of communism:
Gross human rights violations:
• In china, 30-40 million peasants starved in 1958-
61, due to government induced famine.
• In Russia, 10 million were arrested, 1 million
executed, millions more died in prisons under
Low standard of living.
Defections to west.
Most communist regimes toppled in 1980’s and ‘90’s.
Results of capitalism
High standard of living; maybe much too high;
huge personal debt.
Increasing gap between rich and poor.
U.S. is becoming more “socialist” (increased
government spending and government debt)
U.S. has a number of “ticking time bomb”