Sources of Political Legitimacy All governments need legitimacy to survive. But how do governments attain authority? What makes citizens obey or feel loyal toward their governments? Scholars have answered these questions by concluding that political legitimacy comes from several sources: • Tradition: The government has authority because its citizens have a long tradition of giving it authority and respect. This source mostly comes into play with governments that have been around for a long time. • Habit: Most people are raised to obey the laws, and they thereby acquire the habit of obeying. Citizens give their government legitimacy and authority because that is what they have always done. • History: People remember great deeds and events in the country’s history, and they obey the government out of a sense of historical pride. • Religion: In some places, obedience to the government is seen as a religious obligation. Example:
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