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GSU - 1101 - American Government 1101 - Class Notes - Week 2

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GSU - 1101 - American Government 1101 - Class Notes - Week 2

School: Georgia State University
Department: OTHER
Course: 1101 - American Government
Term: Fall 2017
Tags: americangovernment and Government
Name: American Gov. Chapter 2 week 2
Description: Chapter 2-Introduction to the American Way of Government
Uploaded: 01/15/2018
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background image Chapter 2-Introduction to the American Way of Government 1 American's beliefs about the proper role of Government.  o Americans are deeply divided today over beliefs about the proper role  of government (ideology about human nature and society) o  “ideology” is about those foundational values and beliefs as well as  the views about the proper role of government that emanate from those 
values and beliefs.
o Americans agree that a primary purpose of government is to "secure  rights." (like to protect the rights of the people) o Heavily influenced by English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704), the  American founders held that all human beings are “endowed” (given) by 
God with “natural rights”
o Natural rights is the rights that people have under natural law. Ex:  all  human beings have natural rights to life (i.e., the right to not be killed), to 
liberty (i.e., the right to not be enslaved or physically restrained), and to 
pursue happiness without unjust interference by others.
o Locke, for example, had included “property” in his list of natural rights,  and all the American founders agreed with him that the right to property—
i.e. the right to not have your valued possessions stolen—is a very 
important thing for government to protect as well.
o Legal rights (written in ordinary or constitutional laws) are different  from natural rights in that legal rights are a part of written human-made 
laws whereas natural rights are said to exist by nature and are 
discoverable through reason. Thus, the legal rights recognized by 
governments may be consistent with, or they may be opposed to, natural 
rights.
o State of nature or anarchy (both have the same meaning): the  condition of human beings without government o Governments are necessary, so that those who violate rights are justly  punished and, thereby, rights are made more secure in the future. o governments also threaten our rights. Government, through the use of  force, can deprive us of life (execute us), liberty (imprison us) and 
property (e.g., impose fines or levy taxes). 
o One traditional American answer is that government may legitimately  use, or threaten to use, force to deprive us of life, liberty and property in 
order to stop (or deter) those who would otherwise deprive the innocent of
background image their rights. In other words, it can use the threat of depriving us of those 
things as negative incentives in order to lead us to not deprive one 
another of those things. For example, Americans agree it is acceptable for 
government to imprison (i.e. take away the liberty of) individuals who 
commit murder. A primary reason for this is that it will protect the right to 
life of others in the future by preventing that person from murdering again
(while imprisoned, at least) and also hopefully deterring others from doing
so.
o Americans are known around the world for supporting the principle of  “limited government.” According to this principle, government must be 
empowered to serve its legitimate purposes, including the protection of 
rights, but it must also be limited and controlled in its powers so that it 
does not pose an unacceptable risk to rights. 
o Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness can  also be violated if we are attacked by foreign militaries. (like being drafted
for military)
o When speaking of the rights government has a responsibility to secure, Americans today more commonly speak of “human rights” than of 
“natural rights
o  “… the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of  working hours and periodic holidays with pay.” This is an example of what 
are called “socioeconomic rights[”—which are social or economic services 
or benefits that governments and/or private employers have a duty to 
provide or guarantee. 
o Socioeconomic rights: are social or economic services or benefits such  as housing, health care, safe working conditions, and paid vacation time, 
that governments and or private employers have a duty to provide or 
guarantee.
o to securing rights: to “provide for the common defense” and to “secure the Blessings of Liberty.” o government is to “promote the general welfare” and to “promote the  … happiness of the citizen and of the family.” o although Americans, on average, are more religious than most other  advanced industrial societies around the world today, most Americans 
reject the idea of “theocratic government.” 
o Theocratic government is government with a primary purpose of  enforcing and/or fulfilling the doctrines of a particular religion. For 
example, the Saudi Arabian constitution declares the following: The 
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab Islamic State. Its religion is 
Islam. Its constitution is Almighty God's Book, The Holy Qur'an, and the 
Sunna (Traditions) of the Prophet.
background image o State Socialism” (also known as Communism or Marxist-Leninist  Socialism) is the ideology of overthrowing of market capitalism and 
replace it with an equal society free of all class oppression where the 
government command and control of economic activity and ownership. 
Ex: North Korea
o American government and politics accept the basic principles of  market capitalism (private ownership of the means of production, and the 
private owners purchase labor hours from workers in exchange for wages, 
basically an economic characterized by a free market for goods and 
services and private control of production and consumption). 
o a “market,” is a system in which voluntary exchanges between private  buyers and sellers affect the price of goods and services sold and these 
prices, in turn, affect how many goods and services are produced and 
consumed. When you go to a shop to buy coffee, you give the shop owner 
money in exchange for the coffee. 
o There are two hallmarks of capitalism. First and foremost, in capitalism, the “means of production” in the economy are privately owned. What is 
meant by “means of production”? This mostly refers to those items that 
are produced in order to produce more items. The classic example of the 
means of production are machines in factories that are used to produce 
additional goods. it means that instead of government owning and 
controlling them, it is private individuals or private groups (e.g., business 
corporations) who own and control them. 
o The second hallmark of a capitalist system is that the owners of the  means of production (one way or another) purchase labor hours from 
workers in exchange for wages (or salaries). This means that workers find 
themselves as part of a labor market—where their wages, just like the 
prices of goods, are based on supply-side and demand-side factors.
2 The American form of Government  o two features of American government— federalism and the separation  of powers—that distinguish it from many other forms of government 
around the world
o However, something that distinguishes American government from  some other governments is that it is bound by laws as well. The idea that 
all citizens, including government officials, are bound by laws is known as 
the “rule of law.” 
o The rule of law implies that all government actions must be authorized  by pre-existing laws and that lawmakers may not exempt themselves from
the laws they make.

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School: Georgia State University
Department: OTHER
Course: 1101 - American Government
Term: Fall 2017
Tags: americangovernment and Government
Name: American Gov. Chapter 2 week 2
Description: Chapter 2-Introduction to the American Way of Government
Uploaded: 01/15/2018
8 Pages 31 Views 24 Unlocks
  • Better Grades Guarantee
  • 24/7 Homework help
  • Notes, Study Guides, Flashcards + More!
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