Chapter1 Principles of Government

Chapter 1: Principles of
Pope 2016
Chapter 1 Outline
• Government and the State
• States
• The Purpose of Government
• Forms of Government
• Types of Government
• Power Structure
• Relationship between Legislative and Executive Branch
• Basic Concepts of Democracy
Government and the State
EQ: What is the purpose and characteristics of governance?
What is Government?
• Government- is the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies.
• Public Policies- all of the goals and things the government pursues to do.
• Every government has and exercises three basic kinds of power:
• Legislative Power- the power to make laws and to frame public policies.
• Executive Power- the power to execute, enforce, and administer laws.
• Judicial Power- the power to interpret laws and determine their meaning.
The State
• State- a body of people living in a defined territory who have a government with
the power to make and enforce laws without the consent of any higher authority.
**** A state is what we call a nation or country ****
*(A nation is an ethic term to describe race, while country is a geographic term)*
• A state must have these 4 characteristics:
The State- Population
• A state must have a population
• The size of the population does not matter.
• Vatican City- 839
• China- 1.37 billion
• States may or may not be homogeneous.
The State- Territory
• A state must have known and recognized boundaries.
• The size of the territory does not matter.
• Vatican City- .17 square mile
• Russia 17 million square miles
The State- Sovereignty
• Every state is sovereign.
• Sovereignty- having supreme and absolute power within its own
territory and can decide foreign and domestic policies.
• The states within the U.S. are NOT sovereign as they are
subordinate to the U.S. Constitution.
The State- Government
• A state must have some type of government.
• Again, a government is the institution through which society
makes and enforces it public policies.
• Government is necessary to avoid what English philosopher
Thomas Hobbes called, “the war of every man against every
The Purpose of Government
• A very meaningful explanation of the purpose of government is
outlined in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution.
The Purpose of Government
• To form a more perfect union – in union there is strength
• To establish justice – the law should be administered reasonably, fairly, and
• To ensure domestic tranquility – without order, people would live in anarchy (a
state with no government)
• “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way
around the laws.”
• Plato
• “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
• James Madison
The Purpose of Government
• Provide for the common defense – the state’s security rests on wise defense and
foreign policy.
• To promote general welfare – the state has a responsibility to provide a variety of
public services
• To secure the blessings of liberty – freedom is necessary for a democracy
Forms of Government
EQ: What are the different political structures and how are they organized?
Types of Government
• Government can be organized between two categories:
• Authoritarianism
• Democracy
• Authoritarianism- a government that is run by a person or group of
persons not accountable to the people.
• Democracy- a government that is run by the people.
Types of Government Chart
Selection of
Extent of
Means of Ensuring
Rulers inherit their
positions or take
power by force.
Rulers have
unlimited power,
Government has
control over all
aspects of life.
The government
relies on state
control of media,
military power, and
Power lies with a
single party.
Leaders are chosen
in elections.
Government is
limited in power by
the constitution and
The government
relies on the rule of
Multiple parties
compete for power.
Political Parties
Forms of Authoritarianism
• Absolute Monarchy- the monarch (king or queen) has absolute
power among his or her people.
• Examples: Saudi Arabia and Qatar
• Dictatorship- a country is ruled by one person or political entity.
• Example: North Korea
Forms of Democracies
• Constitutional Monarchy- the power of the hereditary ruler is
limited by the country’s constitution and laws.
• Examples: United Kingdom, Spain, Morocco
• Direct Democracy- the people vote firsthand.
• Example: Ancient Athens
• Representative Democracy- the citizens choose a smaller group to
govern on their behalf.
• Examples: United States, Brazil, Kenya
Power Structure
• Unitary Government- power is held at the national level.
• Example: Great Britain
• Confederate Government- independent countries come together in
an alliance.
• Examples: U.S (1781-89), the EU
• Federal Government- power is divided between national and local
governments. (Federalism)
• Examples: U.S., Canada, Germany
Relationship Between Legislative & Executive
• Presidential Government- legislative and executive branches are
independent and coequal.
• President is elected separately from the legislators
• President appoints cabinet members not from the legislative branch
• Parliamentary Government- members of the executive branch are
also members of the legislative branch.
• Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party
• Appoints a cabinet from the members of parliament
Relationships Between Legislative & Executive
Basic Concepts of Democracy
EQ: What are the basic concepts on which American Democracy is built?
Fundamental Worth of an Individual
• Democracy exists because the American people believe in its basic
• Democracy insists on worth and dignity of all.
• Most governments in the word are unitary.
Equality of ALL Persons
• Equality of ALL persons (not equality on conditions).
• Democracy insists on equality opportunity.
• Democracy insists on equality before law.
Majority Rule and Minority Rights
• Democracy argues that the majority will be right more often than
• The process searches for satisfactory solutions to public problems.
• The majority must recognize the right of the minority to become
the majority.
Necessity of Compromise
• In a democracy, public decision making must be largely a matter
of give-and-take.
• Societies have many different views, so for a government to be
effective it must compromise to achieve a majority agreement.
Individual Freedom
• Democracy can only thrive in an atmosphere of individual freedom.
• Absolute freedom cannot exist (anarchy).
• “Must a government of necessity be too strong for the liberties of
its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence.”
• Abraham Lincoln