US/VA Government: 2012-2013 Chapter 1: Principles of Government Ms. A. Boland
Objectives • What should be the goals of government? • Is government necessary? • The purpose for which government exists. • The major forms of government in the world today. • The major concepts of American democracy.
Question???? • How is government involved in your life? Think of at least five ways that government is involved in your life. • Imagine if there was no government. • Define “democracy”. • Larger issue in American society: What are the roles and limits of government in a democracy?
Questions????? • Americans question the right and responsibility of government to be involved in personal safety matters. • Some fear the freedom to make personal choices will be eroded, others disagree.
Chapter 1 Vocabulary • Government • Public policies • State • Sovereign • Unitary government • Federal government • Confederation • Presidential government • Parliamentary government • Dictatorship • Democracy • Direct democracy • Representative democracy • Compromise • Anarchy
Chapter 1 Section 1: Government and the State • Define government and the basic powers every government holds. • What are the four basic characteristics of a state? • What are the four most influential theories about the origin of the state? • For what purpose does government exist in the U.S. and other countries?
What Is Government? • Government: the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies. • U.S. government made up of legislators who exercise the government’s powers. • Have authority and control over other people.
What is Government? • 3 Basic Kinds of Power: legislative, executive, and judicial. • Legislative: make laws and frame public policies. • Executive: execute and enforce laws. • Judicial: interpret laws, determine their meaning, and settle disputes in society. • Constitution: outlines governmental powers. Consists of the principles, structures, and processes of government.
What Is Government? • Make public policies in the form of laws • Executives and administrators enforce laws • Judges apply those laws in court cases • Some countries government is in the hands of religious leaders, royal families, tribal chiefs, or soldiers with guns.
What Is Government? • Public policies: all the things a government decides to do. (education, healthcare, civil rights, defense, crime, transportation, working conditions, etc.) Ex) imposing income tax, setting minimum wage, protecting the environment • Government is among the oldest of all human inventions. Dates to Egypt and 6th century BC.
Politics and Government • Politics and government are TWO different things. • Politics is a process. • Government is an institution. • Politics is the process by which society decides how power and resources will be distributed within that society ( who will reap the benefits and pay the cost of its public policies). • It is the means by which government is conducted. • It is neither good or bad, but necessary.
The State • State: body of people, living in a defined territory, organized politically, under a government. States have the power to make and enforce laws without the consent of any higher authority. • Over the course of history, the state has emerged as the dominant political unit in the world.
The State • 4 Characteristics • 1. Population: people who live in the state, can be large or small. • Homogenous – composed of people who are much alike • Heterogeneous – made up of people with different races, languages, religions, and customs.
The State • 2. Territory: land with known and recognized boundaries. • Russia is the world’s largest state, stretches nearly 7 million square miles • Total area of the United States is 3,787,425 square miles.
The State • 3. Sovereignty: supreme and absolute power within its own territory. • Each state can decide its own foreign and domestic policies. • United States is sovereign, can determine government, economic system, and foreign policies. • However, the States within the United States are not sovereign, each State is subordinate to the Constitution of the United States. • If people are sovereign, then the government is democratic.
The State • 4. Government: political organization within a state. Institution in which society makes and enforces its public policies. • It has the power to rule, including to use force if necessary to compel people to accept its rule. • Government can take a number of different forms.
Origins of the State • For centuries, historians, political scientists, philosophers, and others have pondered about the origin of the state. • Many theories but no conclusive evidence to support any of them. • However 4 Theories have emerged as the most widely accepted explanations for the origin of the state.
Origins of the State • 1. The Force Theory: one person or group claimed control over an area, and forced all within to submit to this person’s or group’s rule. • 2. The Evolutionary Theory: state developed naturally out of the early family. • One person head of the family, network of related families (clan), clan becomes a tribe. Tribe turns to agriculture and gave up nomadic ways, the state was born.
Origins of the State • 3. The Divine Right Theory: state was created by God and that God had given those of royal birth a “divine right” to rule. • People were bound to obey their rulers as they would God. Ex) Chinese, Egyptian, Aztec, Mayan civilization • Mikado – Japanese emperor, governed by divine right for centuries, until 1945.
Origins of the State 4. The Social Contract Theory: people agree with one another to create a state. By contract, people within a given area agreed to give up to the state as much power as was needed to promote the well-being of all. • Contract was done through a constitution. • State rose out of a voluntary act of free people, state exists only to serve the will of the people, they are the sole source of political power, they are free to give or withhold that power as they choose.
Origins of the State • Theory developed by philosophers, such as John Locke, James Harrington, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean Jacques Rousseau in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Purpose of Government • To Form a More Perfect Union – the Constitution was written in 1787 and was adopted by the original States to link them, the American people, more closely together. Constitution was built in the belief that in union there is strength. • To Establish Justice - the law’s content and administration must be reasonable, fair, and impartial
“To proved justice is the most sacred of the duties of government” – Thomas Jefferson
“Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
Purpose of Government • To Insure Domestic Tranquility – order is essential to the well-being of any society, and keeping peace at home has always been a prime function of the government
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” - James Madison, The Federalist No. 51
Purpose of Government • To Provide for the Common Defense – defend the nation against foreign enemies for the security of the United States. • Defense is mentioned far more often in the Constitution than any of the other functions of the government was created.
Purpose of Government • To Promote the General Welfare – services that benefit all or most people and are not likely to be provided by the voluntary acts of private individuals or groups. • Ex) public schools, quality of water, air, and food.
Purpose of Government • To Secure the Blessings of Liberty – nation founded by those who loved liberty. Both the Federal Constitution and the State constitutions set out many guarantees of rights and liberties for the individual in the United States. However, these guarantees do not exist forever. To preserve and protect them each generation must learn and understand them and be willing to stand up for them when necessary.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety” - Benjamin Franklin
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” - Thomas Jefferson
Chapter 1 Section 2: Forms of Government • What are the characteristics of unitary, federal, and confederate governments? • How do presidential and parliamentary governments differ? • How do a dictatorship and a democracy differ?
Classifying Governments • No two governments are alike, they are the products of human needs and experiences. • Political scientists have developed bases upon which to describe, compare, classify, and analyze governments.
Classifying Governments • 3 Classifications • 1. Geographic distribution of governmental power within the state • 2. Relationship between the legislative and the executive branches of government. • 3. Number of persons who can take part in the governing process.
Classifying Governments • Unitary Government: centralized government, all powers held by the government belong to a single central agency. • Creates local units of government to assist the central agency. • Not to be confused with a dictatorship, government is centralized, however the government might not have all the power. • Ex) Great Britain – government powers limited, unitary and democratic
Classifying Governments • Federal Government: powers of government are divided between a central government and several local governments. • Ex) United States – National Government has certain powers and 50 States have others. Division of powers is set out in the Constitution. • Other examples: Australia, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, India, and some other 20 states.
Classifying Governments • Confederate Government: A confederation is an alliance of independent states. • Only have the power to handle those matters that the member states have assigned to it. • Limited powers, but only in fields of defense and foreign commerce. • Ex) Commonwealth of Independent States (republics of Old Soviet Union), U.S. under the Articles of Confederation, and the Confederate States of America
Classifying Governments • European Union (EU): closest form to a confederation today. • The EU was formed by 12 countries in 1993, it has established free trade among its now 27 members, it launched a common currency, and seeks to coordinate its members’ foreign and defense policies. • To see a list a map of members follow the link below: • http://europa.eu/abc/european_countries/eu_members/index_en.htm