Unit 1 Part I Principles of Government Notes

Topics: Aristotle, Government, Political philosophy Pages: 22 (863 words) Published: May 30, 2015
Unit 1: Principles and Theories of Government and U.S. Constitutional Foundations Notes Part 1: Principles of Government
Section 1: Definition of Government
Section 2: Purposes of Government
Section 3: Forms of Government

Copyright 2015 by Mary E.

By Ms. Warden


What science did the Greek philosopher Aristotle
consider to be the most important?


Political Science. Aristotle commented: “It [Political
Science] would seem to belong to the most
authoritative art and that which is most truly the master
art….politics ….is that which ordains which of the
sciences should be studied in a state, and which each
class of citizens should learn and up to what point they
should learn them…”
---Nicomachean Ethics

Aristotle was commenting that political science is the most important of the arts because it enables all other activities to take place , or to not take place, in a country. In North Korea, as you saw in the video, citizens aren’t allowed to choose where they live. Rather the Communist Party does. North Korea’s standard of living is also much lower than what many Americans are accustomed to.


There are many other examples of how important
government is to ordinary people’s lives. In Saudi
Arabia, for example, women are not allowed to drive. In
Iran, a boy and girl going out on a date can be arrested
and whipped by the religious police. In Syria and Iraq
people are victims of civil war and terrorist takeover.

Political Science should help people to form good
governments, but what does the very term government

Government can be defined as an institution within
which decisions are made that resolve conflicts and
allocate benefits and privileges. The government is also
the ultimate authority for making these decisions.
Source: American Government and Politics Today, 2014-15 Ed. P. 2


What is the primary purpose of government which is
necessary before anything else can take place?


 The primary purpose of government is to maintain
law and order, to protect people from violence from
within or without.
 When violence is present, productive activities
cannot take place.

What are the major purposes of government as our
American founding fathers conceived and enshrined the
Preamble to U.S. Constitution?

1. To form a federal union of existing states while still
protecting states’ rights to largely govern
2. To establish justice—that is a legal system that
treated everyone equally under the law.

3. To ensure domestic tranquility—that is, order,
enabling people to live free of violence.
4. To provide for the common defense—to protect our
nation from outside or inside enemies
Source: American Government and Politics Today, 2014-15 Ed. P. 2


5. To promote the general welfare—to make decisions
that will bring about the well-being of all citizens.
6. To secure the blessings of liberty—to promote and
protect individual freedom
5 Steps to A 5 A.P. U.S. Government and Politics, 2015, p. 76

What are the major forms of government?


 Anarchy--this term refers to an absence of
government. Advocates of this system envision a
world in which each individual makes his or her own
rules for behavior. In reality, the absence of
government typically results in rule by competing
armed factions, many of which are indistinguishable
from gangsters.

 Aristocracy--In this system people are "ruled by the
best." In practice, this means rule by leading
members of wealthy families.
 Autocracy—Rule by one
 Absolute Monarchy—ruler gains power through
inheritance; there are no restrictions on the ruler’s

 Constitutional—ruler gains power through
inheritance; formal restrictions limited power, often
restricting monarch to ceremonial status
 Dictatorship—ruler seizes power, keeps power by
force and restricts opposition to regime; no limits on...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • The Principles of Government Research Paper
  • government essay unit 1
  • Essay on Principles of Accounting 1 chapter 9 notes
  • unit 1 Essay
  • Government note Chap. 1-8 Essay
  • Intermediate Accounting I Unit 1 Essay
  • Essay about Psychology Part 1 Notes
  • Unit 34 part 1 Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free