Government Final Project

By: Mackenzie Roberts

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What are the rights and responsibilities of each citizen? What is the difference between civic duty and civic responsibility? What is the value of lifelong civic action? 1. What are the rights and responsibilities of each citizen? What is the difference between civic duty and civic responsibility? What is the value of lifelong civic action?

Some rights that citizens get are to vote, freedom of speech, freedom to express yourself, freedom to worship who you wish, right to a fair jury, etc. Some responsibilities citizens have are to support and defend the constitution, stay informed to issues that affect your community, to vote, obey laws, respect the beliefs of other people, pay taxes, serve on a jury, etc. Rights are something you get to do like a privilege you have and responsibilities are things you should do.

How is the U.S. government established by the Constitution? How does the Constitution embody the enduring values and principles of democracy and republicanism? (Hint: 6 Principles)

Limited Government: This one talks about how they do not want to government to become to powerful, and become like where they came from. An example of this would be why we only allow a president to serve two- four year terms, because we don't just want one person running the United States.

Separation of Powers: This is why we have each of the three branches. There is many different functions of the government and so they decided to make each different thing into a separate branch examples would be

  1. Executive- enforce

  2. Legislative- create

  3. Judicial- judge

Checks and Balances: This was also created so one branch of the government doesn't get too powerful, and to make sure everything is fair to the citizens. Here are 3 examples in each of the branches of government

  1. Ex. Executive branch gets to appoint judges in judicial

  2. Ex. Judicial judges the laws the Legislative branch creates

  3. Ex. Legislative gets to approve the judge

Popular Sovereignty: Which gives the power to people. This is where we get the right to vote, and things like that.

Judicial Review: This is what give the supreme court the ability to make sure that everything that is passed through congress is constitutional. So no law could be passed for America to become a monarchy, etc.

Federalism: This is the idea that states should have power to control themselves, but still have a larger national government there as well. So this is making the separation of these two things.

What is the purpose and function of each of the three branches of government established by the Constitution?

Executive: This is the branch which the president is the head of. The main job of the executive branch is to enforce laws. They are also the Head of State, Chief Diplomat, Commander in Chief, and has many other jobs, but the most important is to enforce laws.

Legislative: The job of the legislative branch is to create laws. They do this by a thing called Congress. Congress is divided into two branches called the Senate and the House of Representatives. It is organized this way because it was trying to make it fair for each of the states, so every state gets two senates, and then based off their population that determines how many representatives they get.

Judicial: The Judicial Branch is headed by the Supreme Court, and their job is to determine if things are constitutional or not. They may not determine innocence or guilt of someone, but they can determine if things are constitutional or not. A lot of cases that people try to get to the supreme court never make it. They review laws and such and make sure that they are constitutional.

What are the similarities and differences among the complex levels of local, state, and national government?

In a way they are all similar because they control parts of the country. They each have an executive, legislative, and judicial branch. The executive in each would include the president, the mayor, and governor. The legislative would be congress, house of representatives, senate, and city council. The judiciary would be the courts in each one, there may not be a local court system for each city but there's one for each county in a state. Some of the differences include their state of priority, examples being national rules over state, state rules over local. So who has the most control is what one of the main differences in the three. The national government also deals with foreign affairs and wars and stuff like that while the state and local do not worry about that stuff.

What are effective strategies for political action? How does this political action impact local, state, and national governance?

Political action is when you want to change something in the government. Some ways you can do this is through protest, flyers, e-mails, talking to people, social media, etc. An example of this would have been when they passed the law about gay marriage, some people were for it and some were against it. There were many protests, tweets, instagrams, etc. involving this and it’s a way for people to get their point of view across. Local governments would be a lot easier to have political action impact because it is a smaller area, and less people. So you can try and get people together on this idea, and try to get it changed, maybe hang up some flyers around your town and then talk to your local city council. The state and national are much harder because it is wider area, because if the only people who care about this are people from Van Meter, the government isn’t likely to pay that much attention but if you can multiple people on your side then it would be much easier to get the government to listen to you.

How are laws are established at the local, state, and national levels?

National and State

  1. The bill is proposed, and they try and get support for it.

  2. The bill is introduced to congress

  3. Then there is a committee report which tells about the intent of the law, etc.

  4. There is floor debates, where people state their opinions on it

  5. They vote

  6. If it passes, then the president signs it


  1. Community members purpose the new law, then city council will vote on it. So this is a simpler way, not as complex. It is much easier to get a local law passed that a state or federal law, mostly because there is no long, drawn out process it has to go through to make it happen.

How do various political systems throughout the world define the rights and responsibilities of the individual?

In America we have a democracy, there are two types of democracy a direct democracy and representative democracy. A representative democracy is like what we have in the US where you vote people to vote have them represent them, so the people are not directly voting. A direct democracy is when citizens directly vote on issues, the only example I can think of is when you elect like a city mayor, then your vote directly counts. Democracy is supposed to give the citizens a lot of power. Your rights and responsibilities involve following the laws, paying taxes, voting, freedom of speech, etc.

There is a totalitarianism and communism which are very similar, where there is one government who controls every aspect of people's life. He would control where work, what you wear, how much money you get, etc. There would be no one to help control this person, what this person says will go. So here you basically have no rights because the government controls everything, and your only responsibility would be to listen to the government.

Socialism is when people have equal everything. The government provides all needs to the citizens. Here again you do not have a choice in what you have because the government just gives everyone the same thing, there is no difference in any person. So you don’t really have many rights or responsibilities besides just listening to the government and following the rules.

What is the role of the United States in current world affairs?

We try to make the world a better place, by trying to influence our democratic ways onto other places in the world. Some examples of this would be that would be when we send help to Syria, Haiti, etc. We do this so we can try to make the world a better place, and get rid of bad things and people. We get involved with bad people, like ISIS when we believe they could be threatening America. Another example is when we lifted the embargo with Cuba, it doesn’t just affect Americans and Cubans but other people too, and President Obama thought that was the best way to handle that situation. So basically the United States role in current world affairs is to be in them when we believe we need to, or to help our allies.