Unit 1: Foundations of an American Government sscg1

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Unit 1: Foundations of an American Government

SSCG1: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the political philosophies that shaped the development of United States constitutional government.

a. Analyze key ideas of limited government and the rule of law as seen in the Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, and the English Bill of Rights.

b. Analyze the writings of Hobbes (Leviathan), Locke (Second Treatise on Government), and Montesquieu (The Spirit of Laws) as they affect our concept of government.


What is government?

  • Defined – ____________________________________________________________

    • Legitimate use of force used to control human behavior

    • All forms of government require submission of some freedom

  • Purposes Of Government:

    • _____________________________________

    • _____________________________________

    • _____________________________________

    • _____________________________________

      • Roads, Clean Air

    • _____________________________________

      • Many early issues left to states

  • Dilemmas:

Where did our Ideas about Government Come From?

  • The ______________________ was one of the first to ___________ government.

  • He studied the _________, a state consisting of a ___________ and the surrounding countryside, of the _________________________.

  • Greek words: _________________________________________________________.

Thomas Hobbes

  • English scholar and __________________________

  • __________________ - by agreement people gave up to the state the ______________ needed to maintain ___________. The state, in turn, __________ to protect the citizens.

  • In ___________________, Hobbes set out his doctrine of the foundation of states and legitimate governments - based on __________________ theories.

  • “_____________________” – what life would be like without government.

The state of nature inevitably leads to conflict, a "war of all against all" and thus lives that are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (xiii). (Leviathan)

  • To escape this state of war, men agree to a social contract.

  • Individuals give up __________________ for protection.

  • Abuse of power is _____________ for peace.

  • _______________ is expected when abuse is severe.

  • Hobbes rejects __________________________

  • Hobbes believes __________________ is best form of government

John Locke

  • English Philosopher and Political Scientist

  • Took social contract a step further.

  • People were endowed with the right of __________________________________.

  • To keep these rights, they willingly agreed to give power to _______________________.

  • When government failed to preserve the rights of the people, the people had the right to __________________ the contract.

  • Thus, monarchy may not be the best form of government

  • He influenced the American ________________________________.

  • The Two Treatises of Government by John Locke.

    • Government is __________________ because people have not figured out a way to live in group’s _______________________.

    • The Second Treatise outlines a _______________ of political or civil society based on ________________________________________.


  • French Lawyer and Political Philosopher

  • ________________________________ was published anonymously by Montesquieu.

  • Montesquieu stressed

    • __________________________

    • abolition of slavery

    • preservation of _____________________

    • rule of law

    • idea that politics and laws should reflect the _______________and geographical character of each particular community.


Match the philosopher with the correct statement

  1. One of the First to study government _______________

  1. Believed in Separation of Powers in government and Against Slavery ________________

  1. One of first to develop Social Contract Theory __________________

  1. Believes individuals have natural rights of Life, Liberty and Property ________________

Create Two Questions from the notes with Answers

  1. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

List the 5 Purposes of Government

  1. ___________________________

  1. ___________________________

  1. ___________________________

  1. ___________________________

  1. ___________________________

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