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Biograhpical Statement On American Government

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Autor: 24  •  December 19, 2010  •  1,737 Words (7 Pages)  •  556 Views

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For over 200 years now, we as Americans, have had our nation, government, institutions, politics, and our inhabitants guided by a document written by a group of people that we refer to as the Framers. This document was written in 1787 and is called the Unites States Constitution. My name is Brent McInelly and I will be discussing in this essay some simple facts about myself, what government is along with the different types of government, its functions, and the kind of government that America has. I will also discuss the seven characteristics of American political culture/democracy and the prevailing political ideologies.

As I stated earlier my name is Brent McInelly and I am twenty-one years old. I was born in Guam on February 4, 1986 on Andrews Air Force Base. I am in college for the same reasons many others are in college for, to gain a better education that will ultimately ensure me a better job that pays better as well. A better paying job will help secure a better lifestyle for my family and I. I am living in Cheyenne, WY not by choice but due to unfortunate events while I was in the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA. I encountered a kidney stone and after some tests and CAT Scans I found out I had more than just one and that kidney stones are a dischargeable medical condition despite what I tried to do to stay in. So, two weeks from my Marine Corps graduation I found myself on an airplane instead, filled with anger and a sense of failure, on my way home to mom and dad. My current long term goals are to finish college with a four year degree and join the military as an officer. LCCC will help me achieve this by providing the type of education needed to start me off in the right direction of obtaining my degree. Hopefully this has provided you with some basic information about me and what I hope to achieve in the years to come.

Ever wonder what the actual functions of a government are? To answer this question we must first understand what a government actually is. A government is defined as the formal vehicle through which policies are made and affairs of state are conducted. We have governments to keep our societies from erupting into mass chaos by setting a list of laws that we as citizens are inclined to follow and the government to uphold and enforce. The functions of a government are categorized into five areas. The first one is to establish justice and by doing this they formed a system of laws that we as American citizens are allowed to abide by a common set of principles. The Bill of Rights entitles us to a fair trial if we were to break the laws the government has set for us. The second function is to ensure domestic tranquility. One example of this would be the formation of the Department of Homeland Security which was created after the September 11 attacks. Local governments have their police forces while the states have the national guards and our federal government can call upon troops if such events are to take place and is just another reason how they ensure domestic tranquility. Providing for the common defense is yet another function which the U.S. Constitution states that our president will be the commander in chief of the armed forces and the Congress will have the authority to raise an army. This is because the government is to provide its citizens with some kind of defense in case of terrorist attacks or the like. A fourth function is to promote the general welfare. Some examples of this would include Social Security income programs or providing health care such as Medicaid and Medicare. The fifth and last function is to secure the blessings of liberty. In this function, citizens are free to criticize the government or petition it when they feel that certain policies are not working or if they have some kind of grievance.

There are four different kinds of government that exist today. The first one is a monarchy. A monarchy is defined as a form of government in which power is vested in hereditary kings and queens who govern in the interests of all. One example of this type of government would be England. A second type of government is totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is a form of government in which power resides in a leader who rules based on his self interest and has no regard for individual rights and liberties. A prime example of this would be Iraq when Suddam Hussein was in power. An oligarchy is a third form of government in which the right to participate is conditioned on the possession of wealth, social status, military position or some type of achievement. This type of government is very rare these days. The fourth type of government is the type of government that America has and is called a democracy. A democracy gives power to the people, whether it is directly or through the elected representatives. Democracy is the preferred type of government in the majority of the countries worldwide.

There are seven characteristics of American political culture and democracy. The first of which being personal liberty. Personal liberty used to state freedom from governmental interference but today it includes demands for freedom to engage in numerous practices without the government interfering or discriminating against. Political equality is another key characteristic of our democracy. It's principal is that all citizens are equal in the political process that is implied by the phrase "one person, one vote." Popular consent and majority rule are a third characteristic. Popular consent would be the idea that the power of the government comes from the consent of the governed and the majority rule being the majority of voters would elect officials or determine policies. A fourth characteristic is popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty is the notion that the ultimate authority in society rests with the people which means that the people can create, abolish, or even alter their own government. Civil society is yet another characteristic and is used to describe the society created when citizens are allowed to organize and express their views publicly such as during a debate.


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