Why do we have governments? • With a partner, make a list of reasons as to why government exists.
Types of Governments • Democratic • Direct Democracy: all voters meet and decide course of action • Representative Democracy: we elect officials to make decisions for us (REPUBLIC) • Non-Democratic • Monarchy: king or queen • Dictator: one ruler of absolute power • Oligarchy: small number of the very wealthy lead the nation • Theocracy (could be democratic…but does not go by wishes of people): leader of the government is the leader of the state religion
Three Main Systems Unitary Confederate Federal
Unitary System • Central government holds all the power • Gives directives to lower governments • Allocates power as they choose • Example: Great Britain during Revolution
Confederate System • Local governments hold the power • Weak central government • Promotes cooperation between states • Often has voluntary membership and states can leave • Treaties often used to define relationships between the states
Federal System • Central and local governments share power • Often times, a document outlines which powers each shares (CONSTITUTION) • May have powerful central government, but it may not dissolve states
Think-Pair-Share • Think • Individually, write out the pros and cons of each system of government • Which do you think is best? Why? • Pair • With a partner, discuss the systems and come to a consensus on the best system. • Why is this system better than the others? • Share • Class Discussion
Declaration of Independence • Read the Declaration of Independence with a partner and come up with a list of the five key points Jefferson was trying to make in this document. • Discuss the reasons as to why Jefferson worded the document the way he did and what goals he was trying to accomplish.
Review: Key points of Declaration • Make a list of the key points of the Declaration of Independence • (Try to get about 5) • It is important to know the main concepts for your test!
Declaration of Independence • Have a right to become separate and equal states • It is necessary to explain why they are leaving GB • Government can’t take away certain rights (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness) • Governments need the consent of the people • List of grievances against King • Declaration: absolved from allegiance to British crown • Free and independent states
Articles of Confederation • First written constitution of the US • A plan of government • Set up a “friendship” among the 13 states • Government was a confederation • Didn’t want 1 strong central government • Congress served as the last resort on appeal of disputes • Congress given the authority to make treaties and alliances, maintain armed forces and coin money • Wanted to preserve individual state’s powers • Remained sovereign and independent
Articles of Confederation STRENGTHS: • To declare war and make peace • To coin and borrow money at state level • To detail with foreign countries and sign treaties • To operate post offices WEAKNESSES: • The national government could not force the states to obey its laws • It did not have the power to tax • It did not have the power to enforce laws • Congress lacked strong and steady leadership • There was no national army or navy • There was no system of national courts • There was no strong executive branch • Each state could put tariffs on trade between states (A tariff is a tax on goods coming in from another state or country.)
Constitutional Convention • Delegates from each state wrote a new plan for government • The constitution + amendments describe the relationship between the government and citizens • James Madison is considered the founding father of the constitution
Ideology behind Constitution • Social Contract Theory • Major Theorists: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau • Relationship between individuals and their governments need mutual consent • Important historical role in the emergence of the idea that political authority must be derived from the consent of the governed • Citizens give up some rights
Ideology behind Constitution • Popular Sovereignty • Legitimate states must have consent of the people • People have all the political power Explain: How does this work in the US?
Key Vocabulary • Limited Government • Government with specific restrictions on power • Constitution did this by clarifying what government can and cannot legally do to the citizens • Majority Rule • Everyone will accept the decision of the majority • Minority Rights: Provisions to protect minority views on issues
The Constitution • Why was it created? • Originally to fix the Articles…then just replaced them • Created the new laws of the land based on a FEDERAL system • What are some key ideas outlined within the Constitution? • Explain the structure of our government system
The Constitution • Why was it created? • Originally to fix the Articles…then just replaced them • Created the new laws of the land based on a FEDERAL system • What are some key ideas outlined within the Constitution? • Federalism, Checks/Balances • Explain the structure of our government system • Multiple layers…State/Federal, 3 Branches
Approving the Constitution • Signed by 39 out of 42 framers • Then had to be sent to states for ratification (approval) • Had to be ratified by 9 out of 13 • Supporters: Federalists- needed a strong national gov to keep country united (Jay, Hamilton, Madison) • Opposition: Anti-federalists- didn’t think states’ power would be protected
Eventually, federalists gained support • NC and RI only approved constitution after it went into effect • Washington sworn in as first president
Strengths of the Constitution • Most power held by national gov- distributed to states • Three branches of government • Executive branch led by a president • Judicial system has an equal branch • Firm system of checks and balances Weaknesses of the Articles • Most power held by states • One branch of government • No executive branch • No judicial system • No checks and balances
Separation of Powers Creates the system of “checks and balances”
The Amendment Process • Outlined in Article V of the Constitution • Amendment Proposal: • 2/3 vote in both houses of Congress • Legislatures in 2/3 of the states (34 of 50) can ask Congress to call for a national convention • Ratification of Amendments (making it official) • ¾ of the states must approve (38 of 50) • Approved by state legislatures or state conventions
Amendments • Constitution amended a total of 27 times • If people do not like results of an amendment, they may repeal it • Example: 1933, 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment (Prohibition)
Constitutional changes without Amendments • Constitution is a broad outline for the governing • Changes can be made through tradition • Example: Presidential cabinet in executive branch • “Unwritten Constitution”
Interpreting the Constitution • Congressional laws • Example: Minimum Wage • Congress can control trade between states • Goods made by workers travel amongst states • Thus, Congress has power to pass laws about working conditions nationally • Always able to be overturned by Judicial Review • Congress can rewrite the law using the court’s objections as guidance