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Introduction to Government. Chapter 1. The State. Sovereignty —Every state (nation) is sovereign. It has supreme and absolute power within its own territory. It can decide its own foreign and domestic policies. It is neither subordinate not responsible to any other authority. Government

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the state
The State
  • Sovereignty—Every state (nation) is sovereign.
    • It has supreme and absolute power within its own territory.
    • It can decide its own foreign and domestic policies.
    • It is neither subordinate not responsible to any other authority.
  • Government
    • Every state is politically organized
    • Gov. is the institution through which society makes and enforces its public policies.
    • This includes the power to use force if necessary to compel people to accept its rule.
4 origins of state
4 Origins of State
  • Historically, anthropologists believe that there are four main ways in which states formed out of anarchy. They occurred chronologically until the point we are at today.
    • Force Theory
    • Evolution Theory
    • Divine Right Theory
    • Social Contract Theory
force theory
Force Theory
  • One person or group claimed control over an area and forced all within to submit to their will.
evolution theory
Evolution Theory
  • Natural development from early family
  • Head of family was the “government”.
  • Original family became a network of families—a clan, then a tribe.
  • When tribe turned to agriculture, abandoning nomadic traits, the state was born.
divine right theory
Divine Right Theory
  • The state was created by God and He gave those of Royal birth the “divine right” to rule.
  • Present day democracy rose out of challenge to this theory.
social contract theory
Social Contract Theory
  • Most significant to American political system
  • Locke, Harrington, Hobbes and Rousseau developed this theory.
  • State of nature was nasty and harsh.
  • A voluntary act of free people agreed to a contract, to create a state.
  • Those within the specified area agreed to give up to the state as much power as was needed to promote the well-being of the state.
  • This contract, a constitution, the members of the state created a gov. to exercise the powers the people had granted to the state.
  • The state exists ONLY to serve the will of the people, they are the sole source of political power, and they are free to give or withhold that power as they choose.
  • Concepts promoted by this theory are directly related to the U.S. Constitution: popular sovereignty, limited gov., individual rights.
purpose for forming government
Purpose for Forming Government
  • To Form a More Perfect Union: US v GB
  • To Establish Justice: Fair Laws
  • To Insure Domestic Tranquility: Peace at Home
  • To Provide for Common Defense: Army
  • To Promote the General Welfare: Public Schools
  • To Secure the Blessings of Liberty: Freedom
classifying government
Classifying Government
  • There are three major classifications for governments
    • Unitary
    • Federal
    • Confederate
unitary government
Unitary Government
  • Unitary Government—is a centralized government in which all powers held by the government belong to a single agency.
    • They often create smaller, local governments for convenience, but all their power comes from the central source.
    • NOT necessarily a dictator.
    • Most governments in the world are unitary… Great Britain.
    • Can be both unitary and democratic, or unitary and dictatorship.
federal government
Federal Government
  • Federal Government—power of the government is divided between a central agency and local agencies.
confederate government
Confederate Government
  • Confederate Government—an alliance of independent states.
  • Power to handle ONLY those matters member states have assigned it.
  • Typically, limited powers. Not power to make laws that effect individuals, but that affect the states—i.e. defense, foreign commerce, etc.
  • Allows for cooperation in matters of common concern while still retaining separate identities.
relationship between legislative and executive branches
Relationship between Legislative and Executive Branches
  • The two types of government where there is both a legislative and executive branch are
    • Presidential
    • Parliamentary
  • Each of these has a gives a different perspective on the relationship that occurs between these two branches.
presidential government
Presidential Government
  • Presidential Government—features a separation of powers between executive and legislative branches of gov.
    • Two branches are independent and co-equal.
    • President is chosen independently of legislature, and has broad powers not subject to direct control of legislative branch.
    • The two branches regularly have several powers which can check, block, or restrain the other branch.
parliamentary government
Parliamentary Government
  • Parliamentary Government—the executive is made up of the prime minister or premier and their cabinet.
  • They, themselves are members of the legislative branch.
  • Prime Minister is leader of the majority party.
  • P.M. must have parliament approval of cabinet.
  • Executive is chosen by legislature, part of legislature, and subject to legislative control.
  • Remain in office only as long as has confidence of majority party in parliament.
  • Parliamentary government does not experience dead lock, as can happen in a presidential gov., b/w executive and legislative branches. However, means there are no checks and balances.
  • Majority of world’s gov. are parliamentary.
who can participate
Who can participate ?
  • Each type of governmental style determines who and what type of citizenry can participate.
  • The two types of government are
    • Dictatorships
    • Democracy
under dictatorship
Under Dictatorship
  • Those who rule cannot be held responsible to the will of the people.
  • Gov. is NOT accountable for its policies, or the ways they are carried out.
  • Modern dictatorships tend to be totalitarian, they exercise authoritarian rule over every aspect of human affairs (ex. Hitler, Mussolini, Kim Jon-Il)
under democracy
Under Democracy
  • Supreme political authority rests with the people.
  • Direct Democracy (Rousseau) vs. Representative Democracy (Locke/ Jefferson) [i.e. Republic]
communism v socialism

Marx formulated the theory

He called it Communism

Today it is called SOCIALISM

Poor will rise up and kill the rich/ overthrow the gov’t. controlled by the rich

A DICTATOR will take power for a brief period of time to divide up all the property of the rich and redistribute to all, according to need.

DICTATOR will step down and government will be run by a direct democracy


NEVER in history has the DICTATOR stepped down

Not Marx’s intention

Examples: USSR, Cuba, China

Communism v Socialism