Basic Concepts of Democracy in the United States

Basic Concepts of Democracy in the
United States
These ideas form the very minimum that
anyone who believes in Democracy must
agree to:
Worth of the individual
Equality of all Persons
Majority Rule, Minority Rights
Necessity of Compromise
Individual Freedom
Worth of Individual
The recognition of the fundamental worth and
dignity of every person.
Equality of all persons
Government works to promote the kind of
equality in which all people have an equal
opportunity to develop their talents to the
fullest extent.
Example: Americans with Disabilities Act
Majority Rule, Minority Rights
The majority must always recognize the right
of any minority to become, by fair and lawful
means, the majority.
Necessity to Compromise
The process of blending and adjusting
competing views and interests.
Important for two reasons:
All people are considered to have worth.
There are usually more than two sides to any
public policy.
Individual Freedom
Each individual must be as free to do as he
or she pleases as far as the freedom of all
will allow.
Striking the balance between freedom for the
individual and the rights of society.
Democracy and the Free Enterprise
The Free Enterprise System- (often called
Capitalism) An Economic System that is
characterized by three things:
Private or corporate ownership of capital goods;
Investments that are determined by private
decisions rather than state control;
A free market.
Based on 4 Fundamental Factors of the
Free Enterprise System:
Private Ownership
Individual Initiative
The Law of Supply and Demand
When supplies of
goods and services
become plentiful, prices
tend to drop. When
supplies become
scarcer, prices tend to
Mixed Economy
An economy in which
private enterprise exist
in combination with a
considerable amount of
government regulation
and promotion.
“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more
than half of the people are right more than half of
the time.” – E.B. White
You find yourself on an island after your
ship has wrecked. Food, fresh water, and
shelter are in short supply; Your chance of
rescue is zip! Your group must form a
government, develop laws and penalties.
Choose a place and a period in time.
At the end of class your group will be required to
turn in the following written work:
A description of the type of government that you have
A list of laws that the new government has developed,
And a list of the penalties for violation of these laws.
(a social contract)
Use your notes and your book!