UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
What is government
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) said the purpose of government is to establish peace and security for the people. Government: The formal institutions and processes through which decisions are made for a group of people. Main components are people, policies, and powers.
Government consists of elected officials who have the authority and control over others and the other half are the public servants who carry out the daily functions. Power is the government’s authority and abilities to get things done. Policy is any decision made by government in pursuit of a particular goal. The State
State: a political unites the power to make and enforces laws over a group of people living within a clearly defined territory. A state must have people; however size of the population does not determine whether a place is a state or not. States must have territory that has clearly defined and recognized borders. Sovereignty: A state’s supreme power to act within its territory and to control its external affairs. Does NOT mean the state’s government is above the law.
Functions of Government
A basic function of the government is to protect its citizens and its territory and against enemies from abroad. To do this, governments spend a lot of money ton defense forces (armies, navies, air forces). For example, the United States spent $682 billion dollars on defense in 2012. Diplomacy with foreign nations is also used to ensure that safety of a nation. Maintain Order
Thomas Hobbes argued that life without government was like a war pitting one individual against another. He asserted that once a government was established, order would be brought to society. His philosophy has influenced the way governments balance law and freedom. Government must establish and maintain order within its territory, securing the safety of the people and property. This done with the use of laws. Laws set clear rules about what is unacceptable behavior. Laws must be clear in defining the consequences for violating the rules. Resolve Conflict
The ability of government to maintain order is closely tied to its ability to resolve conflicts. Politics and judicial systems are the means through which most governments use to resolve conflicts. Politics: The Process by which government makes and carries out decisions. As well, government establishes a system of justice in which conflicts can be resolved. Theory of rule
What makes some forms of rule more acceptable than others?
History, culture, race, religion, and geography are all important factors.
Divine Right of Kings: the belief that the king was answerable only to God, not the people he rules. To disagree with the king meant disagreeing with God Belief in a ruler being graced by God or gods to rule has been around for hundreds of years. This theory of rule was used all around the world by many countries. Natural Law and Natural Rights:
Natural Law: A system of rules that are derived from the natural world Is supposed to provide a just and rational order to all things in the world, including human behavior. Humans possess natural rights, following the logic of natural law. Western philosophers have contemplated what natural law and natural rights mean. Aristotle had a large influence on these philosophers.
John Locke saw government as the product of a social contract built on the consent of the governed. He stated that people consent to be governed only so that their natural rights are protected such as life, liberty, and property. To protect these rights, Locke believed government had to be limited. Any violation of people’s rights by the government was justification for rebellion and the start of a new government. Jean – Jacques Rousseau had a very different view. He believed that people were born happy and free, however, governments and society corrupted them and forced inequality. He argued that people could gain freedom by...
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