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American Government. Chapter One: The Democratic Republic. Why do we need government?. Government is the institution which makes decisions to resolve conflicts and allocate benefits and privileges

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american government

American Government

Chapter One:

The Democratic Republic

why do we need government
Why do we need government?
  • Government is the institution which makes decisions to resolve conflicts and allocate benefits and privileges
  • Government maintains order and security in all sectors of the nation (order and liberty are two core political values often at odds)
  • Concept of legitimacy: Popular acceptance of the right and power of a government to exercise authority
representative government
Representative Government
  • What is the difference between direct and indirect government?
  • Which would you rather have?
why isn t direct democracy a perfect ideal form of government
Why isn’t Direct Democracy a Perfect Ideal Form of Government?
  • Could lead to instability
  • Are average citizens truly capable of making big decision?
  • Can we be too easily swayed by demagogues?
  • Are we likely to hand over our rights to “go with the flow?”
is the us a direct democracy
Is the US a direct democracy?
  • NO!
  • We are a democratic republic based on popular sovereignty but which uses representative democracy to achieve the ends set forth by the people
types of government
Types of Government
  • Totalitarianism (fascism and communism)
  • Authoritarianism (different from totalitarianism because not all of society is controlled by the ruler, just the government)
  • Aristocracy (rule by the upper class)
  • Theocracy (rule by a religious group)
  • Oligarchy (rule by a select few)
  • Democracy (rule by the people)
  • Anarchy (lack of a government)
political socialization
Political Socialization
  • What is it? It’s the process by which political beliefs and values are transmitted to new Americans.
  • What are its sources? Its two main sources are family and the educational system. How do you see family and schools instilling political beliefs into young people?
ideological grid
Ideological Grid
  • See Figure 1-1 in your book, page 20
open question could america elect a dictator
Open Question: Could America Elect a Dictator?
  • Free elections
  • Role of the courts
  • Checks and balances (impeachment, power of the purse)
  • Patriot Act?