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Government - Unit 2, Chapter 1: Government and the State
Transcript of Government - Unit 2, Chapter 1: Government and the State
Principles of Government
What is Government?
Textbook definition: Government is the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies. Government is made up of those people who exercise its powers, all those who have authority and control over people.
Government and the State
All Nation-States have 4 characteristics...
To form a more perfect union
Remember the Articles of Confederation?
Current Constitution (since 1787) links the states and the American people more closely together.
The Purpose of Government
So what is public policy?
Public policy are the things a government decides to do...like the laws it makes. Public policy can cover just about any subject or topic (education, health, crime, civil rights, etc.).
EVERY government has and exercises three basic kinds of power:
Legislative Power - the power to make law and to frame public policy
Executive Power - the power to execute, enforce, and administer law
Judicial Power - the power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes that arise within the society.
These powers are outlined in a country's constitution.
A constitution is the body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a government.
So what's the difference between a dictatorship and a democracy?
Hint: it may have something to do with the powers we just talked about...
Dictatorship: the powers of a government are exercised by ONE person.
Democracy: the responsibility for the exercise of a governments' powers rests with the majority of the people.
What is justice?
The law, in both its content and its administration, must be reasonable, fair, and impartial.
Insure Domestic Tranquility
Order is essential to the well-being of any society and keeping the peace at home has always been a prime function of government.
"If men were angels, no government would be necessary." - James Madison
Provide for the Common Defense
Forms of Government
Drawing distinctions between different forms of government...
There are three classifications that are important and useful to differientiate forms of government.
Who can participate.
Distribution of Power
Relationship between Legislative and Executive Branches
So who can participate??
Political authority rests with the PEOPLE
The will of the people is translated into law DIRECTLY by the people themselves
In a direct democracy all the people of a town would get together to make and pass laws.
In an indirect democracy the people elect leaders to represent them and to make decisions on their behalf.
This is the system we have in our city, state, and on a national level
A single person holds all the power.
A small, usually self-appointed elite hold all the power.
Distribution of Power
Power is concentrated at the central level.
Powers of the government are divided between a central government and several local governments...also known as division of powers.
A confederation is an alliance of INDEPENDENT states.
A confederate government only has the power the states agree to give the confederate central government.
Relationship Between Legislative and Executive Branch
There is a separation of powers between the executive and the legislative branches of government.
The two branches are INDEPENDENT of each other and COEQUAL.
The executive in a parliamentary system is taken from the legislature...
So the people vote in a Legislature and then the Legislature elects an executive from within the Legislature.
The executive in a parliamentary system is called a premier or prime minister.
Basic Concepts of Democracy
Worth of the Individual
Equality of All Persons
Majority Rule, Minority Rights
Necessity of Compromise
Democracy and the Free Enterprise System
Free enterprise system is also known as: capitalism or a market-based system.
The free enterprise system is based around the law of supply and demand.
Which means that the market sets prices, decides how much is bought and sold or produced.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER...the free enterprise system and democracy are not the same thing!
The American economic system is not pure capitalism.
Our system is called a mixed economy which means that the government plays a role in the economy.
The government regulates economic activities through pure food and drug laws, anti-pollution standards, and city and county zoning ordinances and building codes.
The nation's economic system is promoted by the government with grants for scientific research, growing of food crops, building roads, operating public schools, and transportation systems.
Democracy is a political system.
The Free Enterprise system is an economic system.