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What is Politics?

How Important is Politics to You?

n    What is Politics?


Politics is a process of determining who gets what, where, and how in a _________.” --Harold Laswell


“If men [and women] were ___________, no government would be necessary.”

--James Madison


How Did Government Form?


n     Evolutionary Theory: Darwinian. Through collective organization from family to ____________________ evolved.

n     Force Theory: Government came together after one group _____________ the other; forced everyone to live by their rules.  Institutions formed as result of force.


Locke vs. Hobbes

n     17th Century ________________

n     Age of “______________” and Science

n     Followed years of turmoil I.e. ________________, Wars, Disease…

n     “_____________ of Man” was challenged


John Locke

n     Man is by Nature a _______________ animal.

n     Men (and women) keep their promises and honor their __________________.

n     Humans know ______________________.

n     Peace is usually the ____________ and should be the norm.

n     Humans can set up systems to ensure that _________________ in society is followed.


Thomas Hobbes

n      Man is not a ______________ animal. He is at the mercy of his fellow man or the State.

n      There is no such thing as a “____________.” Man lives in constant fear of death.

n      Humans alone can’t _______________ what is theirs and what is someone else’s.

n      Peace can only be imposed by _____________.

n      If you shut up and do what you’re told,you might not get ____________.


Four Basic Purposes of Government:

1.  To Resolve Conflicts: Through ____________.

     These conflicts can be internal or external. (I.e. foreign wars).  Authority is given to the government by the people. It is legitimized.

2.  To Provide ______________Services: that people can’t otherwise provide for themselves.  (I.e. the armed forces, and park service are examples of public services).


n     (3) Setting Goals for Public Policies: Gov’t sets ___________ designed to improve life for all people.  (I.e. Social Security reform)

n    (4) Preserving Culture: Achieved through providing _________. (I.e. The War on Terrorism)

Systems of Government:

n     Autocracy: Government where power and authority are in the hands of _______ person. (Emperor of Japan, Pre-WWII)

n     Monarchy: A form of autocracy in which ________, queen, or emperor is the highest authority. (Louis XVI)

n     Constitutional Monarchy: Power is _________ between the monarch and elected lawmakers.  Monarch’s power is limited by government. (Britain today)

n     Dictatorship: Government where ____________ is exercised by a _________ ____________. (common to developing countries such as Nicaragua, Uganda, Iraq)

n     Totalitarian: Dictatorial government of a person or people who seek to ____________ all aspects of social and economic life. (Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein)


Types of Democracy

n     Direct Democracy: Allows people to participate __________in government decision making.  Concept from Athens Greece, 500 b.c.  Contemporary example-Switzerland

n     American Democracy: The __________ and not the government are in ultimate control.


5 Fundamental Principals of American Democracy:

n     1.  Equality in ______________

n     2.  Individual _______________

n     3.  Equal Protection under the ____________

n     4.  Majority Rule and ____________ Rights

n     5.  Voluntary Consent of the ________________


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