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American Government. What is a government? How would our society change if there was no government? An institution through which the state maintains order , provides public services and enforce decisions that are binding to all people. Powers. Executive power- enforce laws

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American government

American Government

What is a government? How would our society change if there was no government?

An institution through which the state maintains order, providespublicservices and enforce decisions that are binding to all people.


  • Executive power- enforce laws

  • Judicial power- interpret laws

  • Legislative power- make laws

Chapter 1 government and people
Chapter 1 - Government and People

  • The State - is a political community.

  • The state includes :

    • a definite territory

    • an organized government

    • power to make and enforce laws

    • Sovereign - supreme and absolute authority.

    • Examples of states: ?

Origin of the state
Origin of the State

  • Evolutionary Theory:

    • The state evolved from the basic family unit.

  • Force Theory:

    • The state was born by a struggle for power.

    • The idea of leadership is human nature.

  • Divine Right Theory:

    • The idea that the gods have chosen certain people to rule. Example: Ancient Egypt and China

Social contract theory
Social Contract Theory:

  • In Europe during the 1600’s people began to challenge rule by divine right. Social Contract - a contract between the people and a government to maintain order.

  • people give up some rights and freedoms in order to have security and peace of mind.

Purposes of government
Purposes of Government:

  • Maintaining Social Order (examples)

  • To Provide Public Services (examples)

  • To Provide for a National Security (examples)

  • To Provide for and Control the Economy. (examples)

Types of government
Types of Government

  • All governments belong to one of the three groups:

  • Autocracy

  • Oligarchy

  • Democracy


  • The oldest and most common form of government is an Autocracy.

  • In an autocracy authority resides in a single individual.

  • Examples:

  • dictatorship

  • absolute monarchy


  • An oligarchy is any system of government in which a small group holds power.

  • Examples:

  • Communist party of China and the former Soviet Union.


  • In a democracy rule is by the people.

  • “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

  • The key idea of democracy is sovereign power.

  • Sovereign - supreme and absolute authority.

Group assignment 9 29 11
Group Assignment 9/29/11

  • You will be placed in one of three groups based on the type of governments we have studied this unit. Your group will prepare a presentation about why your type of government is the best. You will also need to come up with reasons why the other two types of government are not as good as your type of government. Your presentation should be at least 5 minutes.

Government systems
Government Systems

  • The relationship between the national government and the smaller divisions (state/local) can be described as either unitary, federal or confederation.

  • All have existed at some time in the United States.

Unitary government centralized power
Unitary Government: Centralized Power

  • A unitary system consists of one government. (uni - one)

  • The central government has authority over the political subdivisions in the state.

  • The political subdivisions only have limited authority, which the central government grants them.

  • Examples:

  • Great Britain, France, Japan, (our states)

Confederation sovereign states
Confederation: Sovereign States

  • In a confederate system each independent state retains its own sovereignty. (opposite of unitary)

  • The independent states give limited power to the central government.

  • Examples of the confederate system in the United States:

  • Articles of Confederation

  • South during the Civil War.

Divided powers federalism
Divided Powers: Federalism

  • The United States Constitution is the world’s first framework for federalism.

  • In federalism the governmental authority is divided between the central and local governments.

How the power is divided
How the Power is Divided

  • The division of power varies in different federal systems. In the United States the central and state governments each are granted some powers.

  • The powers can be:

  • shared by both

  • granted to one

  • Examples:

  • Canada, Mexico, Switzerland and Germany

Powers of the national government
Powers of the National Government

  • The National Government is a government of delegated powers, meaning that it only has those powers delegated (granted) to it in the Constitution.

  • The expressed powers are those found directly within the Constitution.

  • The implied powers are not expressly stated in the Constitution, but are reasonably suggested, or implied by, the expressed powers.

Powers denied to the national government
Powers Denied to the National Government

  • Powers are denied to the National Government in three distinct ways:

Some powers, such as the power to prohibit the freedom of religion, speech, press, or assembly, are expressly denied to the National Government in the Constitution.

Finally, some powers are denied to the National Government because the federal system does not intend the National Government to carry out those functions.

Also, some powers are denied to the National Government because the Constitution is silent on the issue.

The states

Powers Reserved to the States

The 10th Amendment declares that the States are governments of reserved powers.

The reserved powers are those powers that the Constitution does not grant to the National Government and does not, at the same time, deny to the States.

Powers Denied to the States

Just as the Constitution denies many powers the National Government, it also denies many powers to the States.

Powers denied to the States are denied in much the same way that powers are denied to the National Government; both expressly and inherently.

The States

The exclusive and concurrent powers

Exclusive Powers

Powers that can be exercised by the National Government alone are known as the exclusive powers.

Examples of the exclusive powers are the National Government’s power to coin money, to make treaties with foreign states, and to lay duties (taxes) on imports.

Concurrent Powers

The concurrent powers are those powers that both the National Government and the States possess and exercise.

Some of the concurrent powers include the power to levy and collect taxes, to define crimes and set punishments for them, and to claim private property for public use.

The Exclusive and Concurrent Powers

Five minute writing assignment
Five Minute Writing Assignment

  • What is an economy? How does it work?

Economic systems and government
Economic Systems and Government

  • An economy is the system that a state uses to:

  • produce goods

  • distribute goods

  • consume goods

Economic systems of the world
Economic Systems of the World

  • Capitalism

  • Socialism

  • Communism


  • Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned by an individual or group.

  • Means of Production - land, labor, capital and management.

  • In capitalism the government should not interfere with people’s economic decisions.

Capitalist system
Capitalist System

  • In capitalism the price, quantity and types of goods that are produced are determined by the private person or group.

  • Producers make goods that they think consumers will buy.

Adam smith and supply and demand
Adam Smith and Supply and Demand

  • The basis for capitalism was outlined by Adam Smith in the book “The Wealth of Nations”.

  • Prices are determined by supply and demand.

  • Examples of capitalism?

  • U. S. , Japan


  • In socialism many of the major factors of production are owned and managed by the government.

  • Examples: power company, phone company

  • The government allows private individuals to start their own business.

  • Examples of socialism:

  • Great Britain


  • In communism the government controls economic life.

  • Communism originated from the ideas of Karl Marx in his writing the “Communist Manifesto”.

Communism the idea
Communism the Idea

  • Karl Marx interpreted all human history as a class struggle between the workers and the owners.

  • Communism believes that there is no need for private owners that everyone should be a worker - one class.

The communist economy
The Communist Economy

  • In a communist economy the government decides:

  • how to produce

  • what to produce

  • how to distribute the goods