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American Government. Why do rules exist?. Imagine playing a game with others in which there are no rules, absolutely no rules. You, and everyone else, can do what they like any time and any way in the game. How much fun would that be?
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American Government Why do rules exist? Imagine playing a game with others in which there are no rules, absolutely no rules. You, and everyone else, can do what they like any time and any way in the game. How much fun would that be? Could there be a winner? (Isn’t one rule how someone wins?) How confusing a game would it be? Chaos would exist and the game would probably end quickly in disarray. chaos: a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization Rules exist to create order through rewards and punishments.
Why does Government exist? Imagine living in a society that had no rules, no order. Everyone could do whatever they wanted to do to anybody, to any thing, any time they wanted. Anarchy would exist and your life would probably be brutal, savage and short. Rules (laws) exist to create order through rewards and punishments. Click to see a short movie on what government is. Click to read about the nature of government. Government is necessary for the existence of civilized society. anarchy: a state of society without law, government and order government: the way a social unit maintains order and makes decisions for the good of the group Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. - Thomas Paine
Evolutionary Theory of Government A family unit grew into multiple, but related, families, which evolved into a clan, which grew into a tribe. Archeological and anthropological evidence suggests that these early humans lived as nomads in Paleolithic times. After the Neolithic Revolution gave us agriculture, humans created permanent settlements that grew into towns and then city/states. Elder adults used their wisdom from experiences to make decisions for the survival of the group. Writing Assignment One Write an essay in which you compare and contrast the governing (government) of your family and that of your circle of friends or a group of your peers of which you are a member. Include who makes the rules, how rules are made, and how they are enforced. Archeology: the study of ancient cultures by examining their tangible remains such as graves, tools, and other artifacts. Anthropology: the study of past human cultures and human development. Paleolithic: when humans lived in small groups hunting and gathering, 2,000,000 to +10,000 b.c.e. Neolithic: when humans began to domesticate animals, cultivate crops and develop permanent settlements, +10,000 b.c.e.
Force Theory of Government Limited resources caused groups of people to compete for survival which led to one group conquering and then dominating the other group and forcing them to submit to the victor’s rules. Ancient History: In the Near East - the rise and fall of civilizations such as Samaria, Babylonia, Assyria, Egyptians, Hittites, Amorites, Phoenicians, Israelites, etc. In China – the rise and fall of dynasties such as the Xia, Shang, Zhou, Qin and Han. In India – the Harappan and Vedic civilizations, the Maurya, Gupta and Mughal Empires. In the Americas – the rise and fall of the Olmec, Zapotec, Aztec, Maya, Inca, and Moche. Click to read about the purposes of governments. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. James Madison
Divine Right Theory of Government The head of the ruling family was chosen/blessed by God and therefore that person and his/her heirs were God’s representatives to that group. Royal dynasties of Europe such as the Tudors of England, Saxons in Germany, Capetians in France, the Umayyad , Aragon and Castile of Spain. Divine rightof kings means the divine right of anyone who can get uppermost. - Herbert Spencer
Social Contract Theory of Government People form government by giving up absolute freedom in exchange for laws and order. The power to govern us based on the consent of the governed. The contract, or legal document, is often called a constitution and consists of a set of basic principles which are used to organize the government of a country or nation/state under one political system which is defined within the constitution. Writing Assignment Two Imagine that you are a wealthy and powerful person living in another time and place. Explain which theory of government would you most likely believe and want to live under and why would you feel that way. Nation/state: a geographic area and the people that inhabit it with a government that establishes control over it by establishing laws and a means of interpreting and enforcing the laws. In our social contract, we have provisions that see to it that you take care of people who need some help. - Arlen Specter
Types of Government Click to read about types of government. Autocracy:a government that has one person in total control, that has authority over others; government by an absolute monarch or dictator. Oligarchy: a government that has a few persons or a dominant clique of people, in control of, and having all power over, the society; government by the few. Democracy: a government in which power is vested in the citizens and where the people run the government either directly or by electing representatives to govern via a free electoral system. A limitedgovernment is one where those in (political) power have restrictions on how they are able to rule. An unlimitedgovernment is one where those in power (political) have no restrictions on how they are able to rule. It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. -Winston Churchill
Here is a 37 minute movie on the history of Democracy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rokTiJfL4WY
Here is a short movie on America’s first Democracy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa4l0FQI1Qs
Visual Images of Government This is the obverse (front) and reverse (back) of the Great Seal of the United States. Symbols are the imaginative signposts of life.Margot Asquith
Visual Images of Government Lobby to Main Reading Room. Government mural by ElihuVedder. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007684336/
Module One Assessment: choose one A] Create a visual representation of government. B] Create a digital multimedia presentation of what government means to you. B] Create and record a song in which you express the meaning of government. D] Click on the link to take a written test that includes some or all of the following: multiple choice questions, matching questions, short answers, and essays.
Module One Exam Answers for questions 1 – 6: Archeology B. Anarchy C. Anthropology D. Chaos E. none of these 1. This refers to the study of past human cultures and human development. 2. This is the way a social unit maintains order and makes decisions 3. This is the study of ancient cultures by examining their tangible remains. 4. This was a time period when humans lived in small groups hunting and gathering. 5. This is a state of society without law, government and order. 6. This is a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization. 7. This refers to the right of a group (later a country) to be free of outside interference. • Answers for questions 7 - 12: • Neolithic B. Paleolithic C. Nation/state D. Government E. none of these • 8. This is the way a social unit maintains order and makes decisions. • 9. This is a geographic area and the people that inhabit it with a government that establishes control over it by establishing laws and a means of interpreting and enforcing the laws • 10. This refers to an era when humans began to domesticate animals, cultivate crops and develop permanent settlements. • 11. This refers to the right of a group (later a country) to be free of outside interference. • 12. This refers to an era when humans lived in small groups hunting and gathering. • 13. This is a state of society without law, government and order. • 14. Our country has this.
Briefly (3-5 sentences) answer the following: 1. Using real examples, describe the ‘government’ of your family. 2. Describe a possible symbol of a group of your peers that you are part of. 3. State, and explain, two examples of how rules exist to create order through rewards and punishments within the community of your residence. 4. Explain in detail why government is necessary for the existence of civilized society. Essays: write a three paragraph essay for the following. 1. Compare and contrast two of the following theories of government: - Divine Right Theory - Force Theory - Social Contract Theory 2. Compare and contrast two of the following types of government: - Autocracy - Oligarchy - Democracy
Module One Exam ANSWERS 1. C 2. E 3. A 4. E 5. B 6. D 7. E 8. D 9. C 10. A 11. E 12. B 13. E 14. D