Government Midterm Study Guide

Topics: United States Constitution, Separation of powers, President of the United States Pages: 14 (4534 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Government- the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies; made up of those people who exercise its powers, those who have authority and control over people Powers- Legislative power- the power to make law and frame public policies Executive power- the power to execute, enforce, and administer law Judicial power- the power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes that arise within society Sovereignty- it has supreme and absolute power within its own territory and can decide its own foreign and domestic policies. Not subordinate or responsible to any other authority, can frame its economic system and shape it’s own foreign policies. The states in the United States are NOT sovereign; they are under direct control of the constitution. State- a body of people, living in a defined territory, organized politically, with the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority. There are more than 190 states in the world, based on population, territory, sovereignty, and government. The Force Theory- the state was born a force. Hold that one person or a small group claims control over an area and forced all within it to submit to that person or group’s rule. The 4 basic elements of a state were already present The Evolutionary Theory- state developed naturally out of the early family, in the primitive family, one person was the head or “government” of family, then became clans, then tribes, then agricultural societies, then the state was born The Divine Right Theory- god created the state and god had given those of royal birth a “divine right” to rule the people, people were bound to obey their ruler as they would obey God, disobeying that was treason and a mortal sin The Social Contract Theory- Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau developed this, Individuals were only as safe as their own physical strength and intelligence allowed them to be, overcame this by agreeing to create a state, by a contract people within a given area agreed to give up to the state as much power as was needed to promote the safety and well being of all. Arose out of a voluntary act of the free people Direct democracy- where the will of the people is translated into public policy directly by the people themselves, in mass meetings, only works in small communities Indirect democracy (representative)- small group of people are chosen by the people to be their representatives, people can cast ballots for or against their representatives. Representatives listen to the people and carry out what the majority wants The Purposes of government stated in the Preamble

Form a more perfect union- the government that the articles established was powerless to overcome the intense rivalries and jealousies among the states that marked the time. Adopted the constitution to link the United States more closely together and had the belief that in union there is strength Establish justice- the law, in both its content and its administration, must be reasonable, fair, and impartial Ensure domestic tranquility- order is essential to the well being of any society; a keeping the peace at home has always been a prime function of government Provide for the common defense- defending the nation against foreign enemies has always been one of government’s major responsibilities Promote the general welfare- the government acts as a servant to the public, i.e. public schools, rules about quality of air, water, etc. they provide services to benefit all or most people Secure the blessings of liberty- no one can be free to do whatever he or she pleases, that interferes with the freedoms of others; to preserve and protect rights, each generation must learn and understand them and be willing to stand up for them. Comes from patriotism- the love of one’s country Basic Concepts of Democracy

Worth of the individual- each individual is a separate and distinct being, all make up one society...
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