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Chapter 1 Notes. Role and Origin of American Government. Chapter 1.1 Objectives. Define government and explain its importance. Identify how some philosophers have described the nature and purpose of the state. List the functions that government performs.

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chapter 1 notes

Chapter 1 Notes

Role and Origin of American Government

chapter 1 1 objectives
Chapter 1.1 Objectives
  • Define government and explain its importance.
  • Identify how some philosophers have described the nature and purpose of the state.
  • List the functions that government performs.
  • Describe how government promotes the public good.
i origin of states
I. Origin of States

State – a body of people living in a defined territory, organized politically, and having the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority

how did states form
How did states form?
  • Force – one person or a small group forced control over an area and it’s people
  • Evolutionary – family/clan/tribe
  • Divine Right – God gave those of royal birth the right to rule
  • Social Contract – voluntary act of free will, state exists to serve will of the people
characteristics of a state
Characteristics of a State
  • 1. Population
  • 2. Territory
  • 3. Sovereignty
  • 4. Government
thomas hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
  • English philosopher, wrote Leviathan
  • Founder of social contract theory
  • Life would be brutal and short without government
  • Human nature creates need for laws
john locke
John Locke
  • English philosopher
  • Government exists to protect life, liberty and property
  • If government fails to serve the people they should be overthrown
  • Basis of our Declaration of Independence
purpose of government serve the public good
Purpose of Government: Serve the Public Good
  • Maintain Order
  • Provide Services
  • Resolve Conflict
  • Promote Values
assignment due tomorrow
Assignment Due Tomorrow:
  • Read text pages 3-7
  • Complete DQ 1.1
  • Answer the following question on the back of 1.1:
      • Compare the ideas of Locke and Hobbes and explain their similarities and differences. How did they influence the nature or purpose of governments that exist today?
ch 1 sec 2 types of governments

Ch. 1 Sec 2 Types of Governments

Defined by:

source of power

How power is divided

Division of power within government

  • “the ability to get other people to do things that contribute to what you want to do”
five sources of power
  • Formal Authority – person’s position
  • Persuasion – personal ability
  • Expertise – person’s skills
  • Coercion – ability to punish
  • Rewards – ability to give $, praise, etc.

Does how you come to power make any difference?

1 monarchy
1. Monarchy
  • king, queen, emperor or empress
  • ruling position passed on to the ruler’s heirs
  • Ruler has complete control =
  • Ruler limited by laws =
  • Today:
2 republic democracy
2. Republic/Democracy
  • Government power comes from the people through elections
  • United States
  • Great Britain
  • Representative vs.
  • Direct
3 dictatorship
3. Dictatorship
  • Uses force to keep power
  • autocracy=1
  • Oligarchy=small group
  • Authoritarian
  • Most are totalitarian
  • 23 today
4 theocracy
4. Theocracy

religious leaders rule over society

rulers are chosen by priests or clerics

rulers claim to act in the name of God

mandatory church attendance and daily prayer

Iran, Vatican City

how power is divided
How Power is Divided
  • Who makes the rules – a national government or the local units of government
1 unitary system
1. Unitary System

All power held by a national government

  • Majority of countries today
  • Great Britain, Japan, most African and Latin American countries
  • Exact opposite of a confederate form of gov’t
2 federal system
2. Federal System
  • Power divided and shared among national, state, and local governments
3 confederate system
3. Confederate System
  • No national government, individual states work together but make their own laws
  • U.S. under Articles of Confederation
  • Southern states during Civil War
  • European Union today
division of power within government
Division of Power within Government
  • How executive is chosen and power is shared with the legislature


  • Executive elected by the people
  • Term different than legislature
  • Head of the legislative branch
  • Head of state


  • Executive chosen by legislature
  • Was a member of the legislature
  • Remains in power until legislature removes
  • Not always head of state in England it’s the Queen

“Democracy is the worst form of government on earth except for all the rest.”

-Winston Churchill

•Explain the meaning of the quote.

•Do you agree or disagree with the author of the quote? Explain why.

•Give details and examples to support your answer.

•Must be typed or written very neatly

economic systems
Economic Systems
  • Capitalism
  • Mixed Economy
  • Socialism
  • Communism
ch 1 sec 3 benefits of democracy
Ch. 1 Sec. 3 Benefits of Democracy

1. Allows Choice

  • Elections
  • Jobs
  • Religion
  • Speech
  • Education
  • Where you live
benefits of democracy
Benefits of Democracy

2. Recognizes Individual Worth

  • Promotes equality
  • Equal opportunity does not guarantee equal success!
benefits of democracy1
Benefits of Democracy

3. Promotes Respect for Law

  • Through participation(like council meetings)
  • Ability to petition laws we don’t like
benefits of democracy2
Benefits of Democracy

4. Protects Minority Rights

  • Majority rule….but cannot take away minority rights like religion or expression even if unpopular
benefits of democracy3
Benefits of Democracy

5. Promotes Public Good

  • Libraries, schools, parks, road
  • Job growth
  • Trade
  • Usually participation in government teaches people to consider other’s views and learn tolerance
direct vs representative democracy
Direct vs. Representative Democracy

Direct Democracy

Representative Democracy

  • Pros /Cons
  • Pros/Cons