Civics Assignment By: Paine Smith

  • Social Contract: for filling the role you play in society, generally for the common good of the state. places the whole of a community over an individual
  • Common Good: the benefit of a group of people living together in a community, like a common wealth where everyone benefits. generally does not work as a government style
  • Political Parties: a group of people that have shared views and beliefs in political matters, like Republicans and Democrats
  • Representative Democracy: a style of voting i which a group of people vote and elect an official or representative to represent them in their countries government so they do not have to go and vote on issues themselves
  • The Enlightenment: refers to a period of time in the medieval era where a wave of revolutionary thought and reform swept across most of Europe
  • John Locke: lived between 1689-1755 C.E., was a philosopher, believed that humans were born as a blank slate and your bring up made you who you are. came up with the idea of Nature vs. Nurture
  • Jean Jacque Rousseau: french philosopher lived between 1712-1778, began the idea of the "social contract" where you do what you are supposed to do according to your position in life, where you submit to authority and life goes on.
  • Thomas Hobbes: english philosopher who believed that man is naturally violent and unlawful, his political views were that there must be a sovereign government that the people have no control over and the government rules the people and keeps the order, he believed that otherwise man would break out in civil war
  • Baron de Montesquieu: french philosopher who lived between 1689-1755, believed that people were power hungry and fear driven to form society, came up with the idea of separation of powers
  • The Magna Carta: signed in 1215, it was an agreement between a group of rebelling barons and King John of England, basically capped some of the king's absolute power and gave the people and church protection from the kings random seizures and ridiculous taxes and it also forced the kings decisions to go through a group of barons that had to approve of it before hand
  • The English Bill of Rights: was a bill passed in 1689 by the English Parliament, putting separation of powers into effect in their government and limited the King and Queens authority
  • Committee: a small group with a specific agenda that is connected to an overall larger group
  • Apportionment: apportionment is used to determine the amount of representatives each state send to the House of Representatives
  • Gerrymandering: swinging the votes of each a state to favor a particular political party
  • Redistricting: the process the government goes through to redraw or change boundary lines of a district
  • Expressed, Delegated Powers: powers that are explicitly stated in the constitution
  • Implied Powers: powers that a government has that are implied in the constitution but not explicitly stated
  • Inherent Powers: powers that are necessary for a government to complete a task and don't require a committee's approval
  • Reserved Powers: powers that are not written down in the constitution, in the United States, reserved powers default to the individual states constitution
  • Privileges and Immunities: basically is the clause in the constitution that says states can not discriminate against citizens of another state, gives american citizens the right to interstate travel

A Monarchy is a Government style where traditionally there is a King or Queen and blood line of ordered heirs. In a Monarchy, whoever is in power usually has absolute power over every aspect of their country. Power remains with the individual until death or if the person in power decides to relinquish power to the next heir in line to the throne. Power remains in the same blood line or dynasty.

Direct Democracy

A Direct Democracy is where the people of their respective nation all vote on everything that is passed through their government. It is common to be eligible to vote that you have to be a citizen of the country and meet certain standards(ie. white male land owners).


A Tyrannic government is where a single individual has absolute and uncontested control of all functions of a country. The Tyrant has power until death but the shift of power does not follow a blood line but goes to whoever seizes control.


Communism eliminates private ownership and the theory is that everyone is the community does equal work and receives equal pay. All of the communities produce goes through a central party the is charge of redistributing the wealth among the people.


An Anarchic government is the where there is no centralized government of a community and everything is run between person to person interactions.


Each of these government types rely on the people of the country. without the people of the country being organized and working together civilization and the progress of mankind would collapse.


Each of the governments have different ways of centralizing and distributing power. the way that the power is centered in a country ultimately decides the success of that government.

Importance of Committees

Committees are important to the function of the united states government because it allows congress to put thought and evaluation into multiple agendas and run more efficiently.

How Individuals Use Their Voice

Individuals can voice their opinions in their government by communicating with their states representative.


the signing of the Magna Carta was the first step towards to the government we have today. It signaled the decline of absolute monarchs and started the shift of the "peoples" voice being more influential in their governments.


today, americans pride themselves on the fact that they live in a country where they have rights that no one can deny them. Well the English Bill of Rights was the document the the American Bill of Rights based a lot of its core content off of.


The Divine Right to rule was nothing more than an idea that kept millions of people subdued to the will of a single ruler for hundreds of years. The idea was easily accepted in the early years of modern civilization as the human race was still developing an heavily believed in religion and alternative facts. The idea of a Social contract only cemented people into their social classes and made them more obedient to their government as they were led to believe that when you are born, the place in life you are is the place you are meant to be.

Over Reaction

when American first became an independent nation, the the founding fathers were had scarred memories of strong central governments. This fear had a major impact on the effectiveness of the new nations first formal government. Fearing the over-dominance of a strong central government, the Articles of Confederation, this first written form of government of the USA, turned out to be utterly useless and too weak. The cons of this wimpy central government were that it basically had no control over the existing states, leading to a lack of uniformity and economic downfall.

Shay's Rebellion

Shay's Rebellion was ultimately caused by the lack of uniform regulation between interstate trade. Because every state had their own currency, paper money in the US was almost worthless, leading the chain of banks repossessing farms. This angered some farmers and they went around shutting down court houses by force. Because Congress didn't have the funds to form a militia, Shay and his troops went around Michigan uncontested for a pretty long time. All in all it led to the creation of the US constitution as is displayed the inadequency of their current governmental system.


One of the major ideas that our founding fathers took from these "enlightened men" was the separation of powers in government. Between all of these philosophers, their ideas on human nature varied, but a common similarity is that they all came to the conclusion that we are a competitive race. Our founding fathers took this idea into consideration when structuring the the power balance in our government, in which they created a system that relies on the competitive nature of man. As each of the houses have their own powers and checks on the other houses power, no single branch of government will become more dominant than the rest as the the other branches can zero out the others power.


After Shay's rebellion, the States agreed that a change to form of central government was needed. They realized that congress was too weak and inadequate to serve any purpose besides symbolism. 12 out of the the 13 states, excluding Rhode Island, met in Philadelphia in 1787 and banged out the constitution we use today.


The Preamble was the intro to the constitution outlining our reasoning for making our current government the way it is.


The Executive branch is the branch that holds the president and his Cabinet. the president can make executive orders, veto bills and appoints supreme court justices.

The legislative branch is the branch that holds Congress. Congress can draft bills, declare war, has the power to tax, over-ride presidential veto's, approve of appointed judges and propose constitutional amendments.

The Judicial branch is the branch that holds the supreme court justices. The Judicial branch interprets the law, declare bills unconstitutional or declare executive orders unconstitutional.

Ten Amendments
  1. States the rights to freedom of religion, press, assembly, speech and petition
  2. Right to bear arms
  3. Right to refuse the quartering of soldiers
  4. Protection from search and seizure without probable cause and a warrant
  5. Protection from self-incrimination, double jeopardy, and right to the due process of law
  6. Right to a speedy and public trial
  7. Right to a jury
  8. Protection from cruel and unusual punishments and crazy bail amounts
  9. Right to all unlisted rights
  10. Reserved States rights
Created By
paine smith


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