Download is. Forms of Government

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American Government
Politics in Action
Government- The institution through which a society makes
and enforces its public policies. Government is the way that a
society accomplishes the “things it decides to do”.
3 Basic Kinds of Power that every government has and uses…
Creating laws and policies
The power to execute, enforce and
administer the law
Interpretation and meaning of laws,
settling of disputes
Question: Which part of the government represents each Power?
Terms to Know…
Constitution- The fundamental laws that set principles, structures and processes of
Dictatorship- Power is held by a single person
Supreme authority rests with the people
A body of people living in a defined territory, politically organized
and has the power to make and enforce laws
The number of people living in a particular territory or country
The amount of land controlled by a state or region
Sovereignty- The government has power to enforce its policies
Question: Give an example of a modern leader showing they have sovereignty.
Major Political Ideas that Shape the Creation of Government
Force Theory- One person or small group claimed control
over an area and forced all within to submit
to their rule
Evolutionary Theory- Government occurred naturally over
time based on need
Divine Right Theory- Claiming to have God’s consent to rule
Social Contract Theory- People agreeing to come together
and form a state.
Question: Which theory listed above most closely matches
the intended nature of our federal government? Why?
The Purpose of Government as described in the Constitution
Form a More Perfect UnionThe desire to create a
that improves on past forms
Insure Domestic
Tranquility- Order in
society that avoids
anarchy or dictatorship
Promote the General
Welfare- Provide services
for citizen’s happiness
Question: In your own words describe what
Establish Justice- The law must
be reasonable, fair and
Provide for the
Common DefenseDefense against
foreign enemies
Secure the
Blessings of
LibertyGuarantees and
Rights designed to
ensure liberty
Forms of Government- Based on who is able to participate in a
Particular government structure…
Democracy- The people are represented through their consent,
both direct and representative
Dictatorship- Those who rule not accountable to people, both
Autocracy and Oligarchy
How Power is Distributed- Unitary, Federal, Confederation
Only one level OR Divided between national and local OR
Independent countries that join together (EU)
Question: Which form of government
Does the United States operate under?
Relationships Between Legislative and Executive Branches
Presidential Government- A separation of powers between
the executive and legislative branches. A president is the
elected head of the executive branch.
Parliamentary Government- Majority Rule of the legislature
to select an executive, usually a prime minister. Can change
when the executive loses support of the majority.
Question: How does the president maintain their power, and how does the
Prime Minister maintain their power?
Basic Concepts of Democracy
1. A recognition of the fundamental worth and dignity of every
2. A respect for the equality of all persons;
3. A faith in majority rule and an insistence upon minority
4. An acceptance of the necessity of compromise;
5. An insistence upon the widest possible degree of individual
Question: Which of the basic concepts do you feel is most important to our government
and explain why?
Democracy and the Free Enterprise System
The American economic system is often called the free enterprise system,
characterized by private ownership of capital goods, investment by private
decision, success or failure determined by competition.
Capitalism- per Adam Smith, market based
Law of Supply and Demand- sets prices
Mixed Economy- Government participates in economy
Question: Describe 1 shortcoming or criticism for each of the three terms above