Government - Ward Creative Group

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Foundations of American Government
Principles of Government
Government and the State
1. What is Government

Government is the
institution through
which a society makes
and enforces its public
policies.
2. What are public policies?

Public policies are those
areas in which
government has decided
to take an active role.
3. Examples of Public Policy

Taxation, defense,
education, crime, health
care, transportation, disaster
relief, public health and the
environment, plus much
more.
4. Three Basic Powers of
Governments

Legislative Power - to make
laws and form public policies
Executive Power – to execute,
enforce and administer laws
Judicial Power – to interpret
laws, determine legal meanings
and to settle disputes.
5. Constitution

A constitution is the
fundamental law of a
government that
establishes the principles,
structures and processes
of a government.
6. Democracy v. Dictatorship

The difference is rooted in who
has ultimate responsibility to
exercise power. In a democracy
the people decide. In a
dictatorship one person or a
small group make decisions.
7. Aristotle observed that

“man is a political animal”
8. Difference between politics
and government.

Politics is the process of
shaping government and
governmental policies.
Government is the institution
through which society makes
and enforces its public policy.
9. Characteristics of the State

P o p u la tio n
A s ta te m u s t h a ve p e o p le ,
th e n u m b e r o f w h ich d o e s
n o t d ire c tly re la te to its
e x is te n ce .
S o v e re ig n ty
E ve ry s ta te is s o v e re ig n . It
h a s su p re m e a n d a b so lu te
p o w e r w ith in its o w n
te rrito ry a n d d e c id e s its o w n
fo re ig n a n d d o m e s tic
p o lic ie s .
T e rrito ry
A s ta te m u s t b e c o m p ris e d
o f la n d — te rrito ry w ith kn o w n
a n d re co g n ize d b o u n d a rie s .
G o v e rn m e n t
E ve ry s ta te h a s a
g o v e rn m e n t — th a t is , it is
p o litica lly o rg a n ize d .
10. What does it mean to
be a sovereign state?

A state has supreme
authority over a
population, territory,
and government.
11. What are the four theories of the
origin of a state?

The Force Theory
The force theory states that one
person or a small group took control
of an area and forced all within it to
submit to that person’s or group’s
rule.
The Evolutionary Theory
The evolutionary theory argues that
the state evolved naturally out of the
early family.
11. What are the four theories of the
origin of a state?

The Divine Right Theory
The theory of divine right holds that
God created the state and that God gives
those of royal birth a “divine right” to
rule.
The Social Contract Theory
The social contract theory argues that the
state arose out of a voluntary act of free
people who were willing to give up
power for safety and the well-being of all
12. The Purpose of the
United States Government

The main purposes of government are described in the
Preamble of the Constitution of the United States:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a
more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic
Tranquility, provide for the common defence [sic],
promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings
of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain
and establish this Constitution for the United States of
America.

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