2. Dictatorships – Person(s) rule with complete power
Foundations of Government
•Types of Government – There are basically two categories
1. Monarch – King/Queen rule over an empire/kingdom
Communism – China, Cuba, N. Korea have complete control over the people
and what they do and say.
Socialism – Nazi Germany
3. Theocracy - Gov’t controlled by one or more religious leaders.
Ultimately the power of ruler is given by “god”
1)Examples – Iran today, Egypt historically
Oligarchies – power in hands of a small
group of leaders
1. Democracy – Ancient Greece began direct democracy where every citizen
had a vote in government.
2. Republic (Representative Democracy) – People elect representatives to
make rules/laws to maintain order.
3. ***Constitutional Monarchy**** there is
still a ruling monarch but mostly for
ceremonial purposes. There is an elected
leader and legislature that acts very
similar to our president.
1)Example – Today’s England.
Purpose of Government
A. Maintain Order – Throughout history people
have created some form of government to
establish order and help people cooperate.
B. Providing Services – Big Picture – Federal Gov’t
protects us from foreign invasion. Little Picture -
Providing schools, roads, ensure food is safe, etc.
C. Provide Laws – Constitutional laws are passed
to protect all of us.
D. Guarantee Freedom
• Natural or Inalienable Rights - a.k.a. God Given
Rights – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
III) Our Nation’s Beginnings
A) Declaration of Independence
1) As Colonial America, the colonists were not happy about the
tyrannical rule the King had over the colonies.
(a) Taxation without Representation
(b) Control of theTrade
(c) Quartering of soldiers
2) On July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was approved by the
Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
(a) Preamble –What purpose government should have
(b) List of Grievances –Told the whole world how England was being unfair
(c) Independence – A formal declaration to King of England that colonies
were no longer a part of England (Declaration ofWar basically)
B) Articles of Confederation
1) By 1781 the Articles of Confederation were adopted and once
we won the Revolutionary war in 1783 we were the United States of
2) The USA under the Articles was very weak but it was meant to
be so, so that each state kept its sovereignty
(a) No Executive or President
(b) One central government called Congress which consisted of 1
Rep from each state
c) no power to tax = no $, couldn’t enforce laws, big debt from war,
constant conflict between groups
3) In 1787, each state secretly sent Reps to revise government.
Click on pic for video
IV) Writing the New and Current Constitution.
1) MagnaCarta – gave us idea ofTrial by jury and no
2) English Bill of Rights – gave us idea of fair
punishment, speedy trial, and right to petition
government for change
3) The Enlightenment
(a) John Locke – Consent of the Governed –
Government exists to serve the people not vise versa
4) MayflowerCompact – First constitution in America
gave us concept of self rule and
5) House of Burgesses – 1st Assembly or Legislature in
6) PA State Constitution of 1776– gave us idea of free
Click on Picture for video
B) Government becomes stronger
1) ConstitutionalConvention – In 1787, delegates from the states met to “revise” (completely change
really) the government. The men met in Philadelphia
(a) The need to have a stronger central government but the desire to maintain power in the hands of
the states led to …
(i) Federalism –The powers of government is shard between the Federal and State Governments.
(ii) Compromise –The biggest obstacle, other than the issue of slavery, was between Big
State/Small state and how representation would occur.
• Bi-Cameral –Two house Legislature
• Upper House or Senate has two reps from every state
• Lower House or House of Representatives has reps based on population
(i) Ratification occurred in 1788 and the new government took control in 1789 with George
Washington as our first president.