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Ms. Gewecke
Unit 2
What form of government do we have here in
the United States?
Democracy: Rule by the people; power
changes hands through voting.
Two Types of Democracy
Direct Democracy
Government in which all citizens have
equal power in decision making.
1. Every citizen has equal
power in matters of
government. Every citizen is
involved in the decision
2. Since all citizens are
involved in decision making,
there is a broad base of
support and loyalty.
1. Only works when a small
number of people are
involved. Ability to gather all
citizens in one place is
3. Individual liberties are
2. Decision making
involving all citizens is timeconsuming. All citizens give
input, debate, etc...
Representative Democracy
Government in which people elect representatives who hold
the decision making power.
1. Citizens are involved in
decision making through their
representatives, lobbying, and
2. Representatives are aware
their job depends on meeting the
needs of their constituents.
1. Decision making is time
consuming. Desire of
representatives to please
everyone may cripple system.
3. More likely that all elements of
the population are represented.
4. Generally, reps are educated
and more-capable citizens who
can devote time needed to solve
complex problems.
2. Representatives may not
always agree with those they
3. Lack of involved citizenry
may allow special interest
groups to influence or
dominate representatives.
Rule by one; usually does not have to
answer to the will of the people
1. People may be united in
their loyalty since there is no
competition for trust and
2. In an emergency, a ruler
can move quickly to take
action. No time is lost in
debate or discussion.
1. People are afforded little
or no individual liberty. Civil
rights may be trampled on.
2. A ruler’s policies suit their
own needs. Needs of the
people may be neglected.
3. Decision making has a
narrow base - can be
flawed, wrong, dangerous,
and not fully supported by
the people.
Form of government in which the power is in the hands
of a few persons or small group (who have the
combined power of an autocracy.)
1. Decisions can be made
relatively quickly.
2. May provide expert
leadership while avoiding the
danger of one-person rule.
3. In theory, they are the most
qualified members of society.
4. Members of the oligarchy
listen to each other - they
work together to rule.
Same as Autocracy
(Needs and wants of the
people are not necessarily
Governments that Limit/Can Limit Civil Rights
Totalitarianism: Government in which the power to
rule embraces all matters of human concern (politics,
society, culture); force is usually used to enforce the
government’s policies.
Authoritarianism: Government with a concentration of
power in a leader or elite group that has NO
constitutional obligation to the people.
What’s the difference between the two?
Not Much!! However, authoritarian governments
have existed in which the needs of the people
have been a priority to the leadership.
Governments that Limit/Can Limit Civil Rights
Dictatorship: the arbitrary rule by an
individual that is not constitutionally
responsible to the people or their elected
A dictatorship, authoritarian
government, and a totalitarian
government are very similar by
definition. In our society, we tend
to think of people like Hitler,
Stalin and Hussein when we talk
about dictators.
Would authoritarian,
totalitarian and
dictatorships be classified
as autocracies, oligarchies
or democracies?
Who are some recent dictators?
Kim Jong Il, North Korea
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo,
Equatorial Guinea
Who are some recent dictators?
Hugo Chavez,
Raul Castro, Cuba
Some Examples of Autocratic Governments
a form of government based
on the rule of a single person
who is normally chosen by
hereditary succession; king
or queen
Absolute Monarchy:
the king or queen has complete authority and
control over the government and the population
Legitimate Autocracy:
rule is passed down from generation to generation
through a peaceful succession of power
A monarchy is
an example of
a Legitimate
If a legitimate autocracy is defined by a
peaceful succession of power generation after
generation, what do you think an Illegitimate
Autocracy is?
Illegitimate Autocracy: power is seized by means
of force.
Banana Republic: country in which a series of
illegitimate autocracies have taken control
Coup D’état
a sudden decisive exercise of force in
politics; especially : the violent overthrow or
alteration of an existing government by a
small group
Historical Examples of a Coup D’état?
1979 – September 29: Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Mbasogo overthrows Francisco Macias Nguema
1979 - July 16th: Sadam Hussein overthrows Ahmad
Hassan al-Bakr
1989 - Jun 30th: Omar Hassan Ahmad alBashir overthrows Ahmed al-Mirghani
Some examples of autocratic governments (cont.)
Feudalism: a medieval form of social, economic and political
organization in which a king or queen gave noblemen land in
return for military service and forces. The noblemen allowed
serfs to live on and farm the land in return for most of the goods
produced; overall, the king or queen has control
King or Queen
Military forces
and supplies
place to
Some examples of Oligarchic Governments
Aristocracy: government
based on the rule of the
privileged class; social elite
such as noblemen
Plutocracy: government based on
the rule of the wealthy class
Theocracy: government
based on the rule of religious
Some examples of Oligarchic Governments
Fascism: a political regime that exalts the nation
and sometimes race above the importance of the
individual; strong central authority is usually
symbolized in a dictatorial leader who enforces
strict regimentation and uses violence to defeat
any opposition.
Adolf Hitler was the
dictatorial leader of the
Nazi Party, a fascist
regime, in Germany from
the early 1930s to 1945.
Terms related to Democratic Governments
A government in which the people directly
exercise their power by debating and voting on
every issue is a __________________.
A government in which the people elect
representatives who hold the decision making
power is a ____________________.
Republic: (basically the same as a
representative democracy); a form of
government characterized by popular
Popular Sovereignty: the belief that all
political power ultimately rests with the
Terms related to Democratic Governments
Constitution: a document that specifies the laws and
principles under which a government operates; defines
which level of government has which powers
What are the levels of government referred to here?
Constitutional Monarchy: a king or queen has the
powers granted to them by the country’s
King or Queen
defined by a
A very, very, very, brief look at and comparison of
Capitalism, Socialism and Communism
What is capitalism?
First, it’s NOT a form
of government!!
It is an economic system
Based on:
•private ownership of the means of
producing goods and services
Often referred to as the Free Enterprise or Private Enterprise system
More on Capitalism...
The means of production, distribution and
exchange (factories, mines, stores, farms,
railroads, airlines, banks) are privately owned
and managed.
Competition is the “lifeblood” of the system.
Competition (in its purest form): involves
providing the best possible product at
the lowest possible price
Using this definition of competition, does the
U.S. have a pure capitalist system?
The United States has a system that is
commonly referred to as a Mixed Economy.
Mixed Economy: economic system in which both
private enterprise and regulation play important
What are some examples of how our
national, state and local governments
regulate our economy?
Antitrust Laws
Pure Food and Drug Laws
Regulation of Pollution
Investment Regulations
Zoning Ordinances
When an economic system is based on the public
ownership of the means by which goods and
services are produced, distributed , and
exchanged, it is called Socialism
•rejects the ideas of private ownership,
competition, and profit (the opposite of
Most modern-day socialists follow a doctrine of
democratic socialism:
an economic system managed by
democratically elected leaders
The government plays the dominant role in
regulating the economy, thereby eliminating
class differences and fluctuations in the
An extreme form of socialism with an
authoritarian government that rests on the idea
of collective ownership and control of property
and the means of production; all individuals are
expected to contribute to society according to
ability and all receive from society according to
Karl Marx wrote the Communist
Manifesto, which spelled out
why he believed a communist
system like this would eliminate
class differences.
While Marx believed that a
“collective ownership” was
essential, former Soviet Union
leader and founder, Vladimir Lenin
altered the concept of communism.
• believed that a revolution was necessary to
overthrow capitalism
• allowed for a strong centralized government
that would control the economy
• the government was not a “collective” - it
was an example of totalitarianism