The Gold Standard in Education; The Foundation of Our Community.

GCHS Musketeers
Building Photo20142171779714_image.jpg
Jason Smith, Principal
Craig Wilburn, Assistant Principal
Eric Keeton, Assistant Principal
196 Musketeer Drive
Greenup, KY 41144

Introductory Notes

Introductory Notes

AP US GOV’T & POLITICS

THE STATE

“State” defined: country, nation – a political community occupying a definite territory with organized, authoritative government

1. Aristotle – early student of government – studied ancient Greek city-state

2. Early American history: each “state” thought of itself as independent entity

ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF A STATE:

  1. Population (people)
  1. Territory (established boundaries)
  1. Sovereignty (state has supreme and absolute authority)
  1. Government (institution through which state maintains order, provides services, enforces decisions).

THEORIES OF GOVERNMENT

  1. EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: government evolved from family
  1. FORCE THEORY: all people of an area brought under control of one person
  1. DIVINE RIGHT: certain people chosen by Divinity to rule (Egyptian, Chinese, Aztecs, European monarchs)
  1. SOCIAL CONTRACT: in 1600’s many Europeans began challenging to theory of Divine Right – Thomas Hobbes believed people surrender some sovereignty to government to maintain order – John Locke believed people naturally given right to life, liberty, property, and that people willingly contract with government, and have the right to change that government

PURPOSES OF GOVERNMENT

  1. Maintain social order
  2. Provide public services
  3. Provide national security
  4. Make economic decisions

GOVERNMENT SYSTEMS

  1. UNITARY SYSTEM: all key powers given to national or central government
  1. FEDERAL SYSTEM: power divided between state/province and national government

CONSTIUTIONS AND GOVERNMENT

  1. CONSTITUTION: A plan providing rules for government

- Sets out ideals

- Establishes basic structure

- Provides supreme law

  1. Framework for government and highest law – CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT: government where constitution has authority to place clear limits on government’s powers

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Politics defined: “Effort to control or influence the conduct and policies of government”

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