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Chapter 1 notes

by: Tina Ta

Chapter 1 notes PS 1113

Tina Ta
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Feel free to have it!!! Study carefully and this will be on the test!!!!
American Government
David Litton
Class Notes
american, National, American Government




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tina Ta on Saturday March 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PS 1113 at East Mississippi Community College taught by David Litton in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see American Government in Politic Science at East Mississippi Community College.

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Date Created: 03/12/16
What is politics? 1) The struggle over power or influence within organizations of informal  groups that can grant benefits or privileges.or 2) who gets what , when and how in a society  Government refers to the institution in which decisions are made that resolve conflict of allocate benefits and privileges. Once a society reaches a certain level of complexity there is likely to  emerge a peron or persons to make decisions allocating values for a society. That is when we  have government. The level of government control varies.  Why do people obey laws/ Because they believe the government has the authority and the power  to force compliance and people generally feel the laws made by the government are legitimate or reasonably right. Three examples of how societies are governed 1) totalitarian regime ­ form of government that  controls every aspect of political and social life. 2) anarchy ­ no government and 3) democracy  ­ government by the people  Direct Democracy ­ A system of government in which political decisions are made by the  people directly Representative Democracy ­ A form of government in which representatives elected by the  people make and enforce laws and policies. In this country we are governed by a representative democracy, although we do have some  examples of direct democracy in our political system. Those examples are initiative,  referendum and recall. It is said that our government is a compromise between the needs of the modern state and the  desire for democratic control. Our government is a balance between central power and the rights  of the people. Representative democracies rest on the rule of the people as expressed through the  election of government officials. The emphasis on the equality of every individual before the law is central to the American system. Since everyone's vote counts equally, the only way to make  fair decisions is by some form of majority rule, which is a basic principle of democray that  asserts that the greatest number of citizens in any political unit should select officials and  dtermine policies. To ensure that majority rule does not become oppressive, modern democracies provide guarantees of minority rights. Limited government ­ The concept that government has  limits on its authority and those limits are expressed in the constitution. Elite theory ­ The  theory that the population has little if any impact on the decision making process and decisions  are made by a select few within society.  Political ideologies 1) liberalism ­ government should improve the welfare of individuals,  support civil rights of individuals and have a tolerance for political and social change. 2)  conservatism ­ government should play a limited role, traditional values and lifestyles are  supported and there is preference for the status quo.  Capitalism ­ An economic system characterized by private ownership of wealth­creating assets  and also by free markets and freedom of contract. 


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