Chapter 1: People and Government
Around the world, people live under
a variety of governments. Chapter 1 focuses on the four basic
forms of government and how they affect the people they govern.
Section 1 introduces the
origin and purposes of government. The term state is
defined and theories such as evolutionary, force, divine right,
and social contact theory attempt to explain why states were
created. The four basic purposes of a state are identified.
These purposes are maintaining social order, providing public
services, providing national security, and making economic
Section 2 deals with government
systems and governing. Similarities and differences of a unitary
and federal system are examined, and the relationships that
these systems create between the national government and a
smaller branch are explained. The term constitution
is defined, including the main purposes it serves and how
government uses a constitution to govern justly.
Section 3 introduces the
three major types of government and defines the characteristics
of democracy. All governments belong to one of three major
groups: autocracyrule by one person, oligarchyrule
by a few persons, or democracyrule by many people. Also,
terms such as political party and free enterprise are used
to articulate what makes the United States a democracy. For
example, democracy succeeds more in countries that have a
free enterprise system.
Section 4 examines the role
of government in economic systems. Governments around the
world create different kinds of economic systems. Three major
economic systems are capitalism, socialism, and communism.
Each system must make certain economic decisionsfirst,
what and how much should be produced; second, how goods and
services should be produced; and third, who gets the goods
and services that are produced.