Intro to American gov and politics1.Intro to Politics and Governments Politics: “who gets what, when and how” Lasswell.Process of choosing leaders and policiesWho: many actors = voters, companies, pol. Parties, interest groups, courts, presidents…What: many interests = education, taxes, health care, social policy, law and order,defense…How: many processes to determine this = vote, negotiate, lobby/persuade, court ruling, fight… Government: Institutions through which public policies are made for societyPolitical leaders, military, police, legal systemSome Major Functions – vary across govt’sDefense: protect against outside threatsOrder: avoid anarchy (no govt, rules)Hobbes(1651): constant conflict; “nasty, brutish, & short”Public goods: not easily provided if not by the govt-education, roads, fire, police, snow plows, defense, welfare…Forms of GovernmentAristotle: Gov by one, few, manyBy one: autocracyMonarchy – rule by bloodline or divine rightTyranny – rule by force or fearBy the few: oligarchy Military ruleTheocracy – religious ruleSingle party rule (Communism)By the many: democracy/republicDirect democracy: every citizen involved (Athens)Representative democracy (republic): citizens chose individuals to represent them (US,UK)
2.US Political Culture3.Texas Political Culturea.Only independent republic The Constitution1.Intro to Constitutions a.Basic governing documentb.Basic principles of governance (who governs and how)c.Structure and power of govtd.Limits on power of govt2.Most Democracies have a constitutiona.Some unwritten (UK, Israel) = laws and rulings with the same effect as a constitutions b.Some non-democracies (Kuwait, Monaco) constitutional monarchy 3.1stmodern constitution: Magna Carta 1215 (England)a.Goal was to limit power of King Johni.Needed men and money for warsii.Feudal barons demanded a charter of libertiesb.Proclaims certain liberties (limits on king)i.Some limits on taxation (some required consent)ii.Created due process: no prison or exile without lawful judgement or standing laws of the land4.The Founding Fathersa.13 colonies i.England (constitutional monarchy w/ parliament)ii.Colonies had some self-govt1.Elected representative assembly (w/ british oversight)2.Some rights of Englishmen (trial by jury etc.)b.1765 stamp act congressi.Opposed taxation without representation 1.Unfair to be taxed by people not electedc.1773 Tea Act and other taxesi.Colonists respond with the Boston Tea Partyii.Intolerable acts (dissolved assembly, closed portsd.Constitutional Congress
i.1stcon. Congress 1774 12/13 colonies1.Declared rights, demanded repeal of intolerable acts2.Goal to reconcile after the repeal of actsii.British Rejected response, arm for revolution1.English response; send troops to seize weaponsiii.2ndConstitutional Congress 1775-811.All 13 colonies Issued Declaration of Independence to justify revolution2.Began working as a new govt3.Established continental army4.Issued paper money5.Send diplomats abroad to seek $ diplomacy, military aidiv.Declaration of Independence1.