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Civics & Government 

Pennsylvania Department of Education

22 Pa. Code, Chapter 4, Appendix C (#006-275) Final Form-Annex A July 18, 2002

XIII. TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction…………………………………………….…. XIV.

THE ACADEMIC STANDARDS

Principles and Documents of Government ……………………………………… 5.1.

A. Purpose of Government

B. Rule of Law

C. Principles and Ideals that Shape Government

D. Documents and Ideals Shaping Pennsylvania Government

E. Documents and Ideals Shaping United States Government

F. Rights Created by the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions

G. Use, Display and Respect for the United States Flag

H. Contributions of Framers of Government

I. Sources, Purposes and Functions of Law

J. Individual Rights and the Common Good

K. Roles of Symbols and Holidays

L. Role of Courts in Resolving Conflicts

M. Speeches and Writings that Impact Civic Life

Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship….……………………………………. 5.2.

A. Civic Rights, Responsibilities and Duties

B. Relationship Between Rights and Responsibilities

C. Sources and Resolution of Conflicts

D. Political Leadership and Public Service

E. Ways Citizens Influence Decisions and Actions of Government

F. Consequences of Violating Rules and Laws

G. Competent and Responsible Citizen

22 Pa. Code, Chapter 4, Appendix C (#006-275) Final Form-Annex A July 18, 2002

How Government Works………………..……………….………………………… 5.3.

A. Structure, Organization and Operation of Governments

B. Branches of Government

C. How a Bill Becomes a Law

D. Services Performed by Governments

E. Role of Leaders in Government

F. Elements of the Election Process

G. Protection of Individual Rights

H. Impact of Interest Groups on Government

I. How and Why Governments Raise Money

J. Influence of the Media

K. Systems of Government

How International Relationships Function...…………………………………….. 5.4.

A. How Customs and Traditions Influence Governments

B. Role of United States in World Affairs

C. Impact of United States on the Political Ideals of Nations

D. How Foreign Policy is Developed and Implemented

E. Purposes and Functions of International Organizations

XV. Glossary……………………………………………………………………………...

22 Pa. Code, Chapter 4, Appendix C (#006-275) Final Form-Annex A July 18, 2002

XIV. INTRODUCTION

This document includes Academic Standards for Civics and Government that describe what students should know and be able to do in four areas:

  • •                       5.1. Principles and Documents of Government
  • •                       5.2. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship
  • •                       5.3. How Government Works
  • •                       5.4. How International Relationships Function

 

The Civics and Government Academic Standards describe what students should know and be able to do at four grade levels (third, sixth, ninth and twelfth). Throughout the standard statements, concepts found in lower grades must be developed more fully throughout higher grade levels.

The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1790 was the basis for the Free Public School Act of 1834 that is the underpinning of today's system of schools operating throughout the Commonwealth.  These schools were created to educate children to be useful citizens, loyal to the principles upon which our Republic was founded, and aware of their duties as citizens to maintain those ideals.

The Academic Standards for Civics and Government are based on the Public School Code of 1949 which directs "… teaching and presentation of the principles and ideals of the American republican representative form of government as portrayed and experienced by the acts and policies of the framers of the Declaration of Independence and framers of the Constitution of the United States and Bill of Rights. . .".  The intent of the Code is that such instruction "shall have for its purpose also instilling into every boy and girl who comes out of public, private and parochial schools their solemn duty and obligation to exercise intelligently their voting privilege and to understand the advantages of the American republican representative form of government as compared with various other forms of governments”.

The academic standards for Civics and Government consist of four standard categories (designated as 5.1., 5.2., 5.3., and 5.4.).  Each category has a number of standards statements designated by a capital letter.  Some standard statements have bulleted items known as standard descriptors. The standard descriptors are items within the document to illustrate and enhance the standard statement.  The categories, statements and descriptors are regulations.  The descriptors may be followed by an “e.g.”.  The “e.g.’s” are examples to clarify what type of information could be taught.  These are suggestions and the choice of specific content is a local decision as is the method of instruction.

Civics and Government along with Economics, Geography and History are identified as Social Studies in Chapter 4.  This identification is consistent with citizenship education in Chapter 49 and Chapter 354.  Based on these regulations, Social Studies/Citizenship Programs should include the four sets of standards as an entity in developing a scope and sequence for curriculum and planned instruction.

A glossary is included to assist the reader in clarifying terminology contained in the standards.

Academic Standards for Civics and Government

5.1. Principles and Documents of Government

 

5.1.3.  GRADE 3

5.1.6.  GRADE 6

5.1.9.  GRADE 9

5.1.12.  GRADE 12

 

Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to . . .

 

A. Describe what government is. B. Explain the purposes of rules and laws and why they are important in the classroom, school, community, state and nation. C. Define the principles and ideals shaping government. • Justice • Truth • Diversity of people and ideas • Patriotism • Common good • Liberty • Rule of law • Leadership • Citizenship D. Identify the document which created Pennsylvania.

A. Explain the purpose of government. B. Explain the importance of the rule of law for the protection of individual rights and the common good in the community, state, nation and world. C. Describe the principles and ideals shaping government. • Equality • Majority rule/Minority rights • Popular sovereignty • Privacy • Checks and balances • Separation of powers D. Explain the basic principles and ideals within documents of Pennsylvania government. • Charter of 1681 • Charter of Privileges • Pennsylvania Constitution • Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights

A. Identify and explain the major arguments advanced for the necessity of government. B. Describe historical examples of the importance of the rule of law. • Sources • Purposes • Functions   C. Analyze the principles and ideals that shape government. • Constitutional government • Liberal democracy • Classical republicanism • Federalism D. Interpret significant changes in the basic documents shaping the government of Pennsylvania. • The Great Law of 1682 • Constitution of 1776 • Constitution of 1790 • Constitution of 1838 • Constitution of 1874 • Constitution of 1968

A. Evaluate the major arguments advanced for the necessity of government. B. Analyze the sources, purposes and functions of law. C. Evaluate the importance of the principles and ideals of civic life. D. Analyze the principles and ideals that shape the government of Pennsylvania and apply them to the government. • The Charter of 1681 • Charter of Privileges • PA Constitution, its revisions and Amendments

 

 

Academic Standards for Civics and Government

E.  Identify documents of United States government. • Declaration of Independence • Constitution of the United States • Bill of Rights F.  Explain the meaning of a preamble. • Constitution of the United States • Pennsylvania Constitution G. Describe the purpose of the United States Flag, The Pledge of Allegiance and The National Anthem. H. Identify framers of documents of governments.  • Pennsylvania  • United States I. Explain why government is necessary in the classroom, school, community, state and nation and the basic purposes of government in Pennsylvania and the United States.

E. Explain the basic principles and ideals within documents of United States government. F. Explain the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and compare it to the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States. G. Describe the proper use, display and respect for the United States Flag and explain the significance of patriotic activities. • Reciting The Pledge of Allegiance • Standing for The National Anthem H. Describe the roles played by the framers of the basic documents of governments of Pennsylvania and the United States. I. Describe and compare the making of rules by direct democracy and by a republican form of government.

E. Analyze the basic documents shaping the government of the United States. • Magna Carta • English Bill of Rights • Mayflower Compact • Articles of Confederation • Declaration of Independence • Federalist papers • Anti-federalist writings • United States Constitution F. Contrast the individual rights created by the Pennsylvania Constitution and those created by the Constitution of the United States. G. Describe the procedures for proper uses, display and respect for the United States Flag as per the National Flag Code. H. Explain and interpret the roles of framers of basic documents of government from a national and Pennsylvania perspective. I. Explain the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments and explain the advantages and disadvantages of systems of government. • Confederal • Federal • Unitary 

E. Evaluate the principles and ideals that shape the United States and compare them to documents of government. F. Analyze and assess the rights of the people as listed in the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. G. Analyze and interpret the role of the United States Flag in civil disobedience and in patriotic activities. H. Analyze the competing positions held by the framers of the basic documents of government of Pennsylvania and United States. I. Analyze historical examples of the importance of the rule of law explaining the sources, purposes and functions of law.

 

 

Academic Standards for Civics and Government

J. Explain the importance of respect for the property and the opinions of others. K. Identify symbols and political holidays. • Pennsylvania (e.g., Charter Day, Liberty Bell, Keystone State) • United States (e.g., Presidents' Day, Statue of Liberty, White House) L.  Identify ways courts resolve conflicts involving principles and ideals of government. M.  Identify portions of famous speeches and writings that reflect the basic principles and ideals of government (e.g., “I have a dream,” Reverend Martin Luther King; “One small step for mankind,” Neil Armstrong).

J. Describe how the government protects individual and property rights and promotes the common good. K. Describe the purpose of symbols and holidays. L. Explain the role of courts in resolving conflicts involving the principles and ideals of government. • Local • State • Federal M. Explain the basic principles and ideals found in famous speeches and writings (e.g., “Governments, like clocks, go from the motion people give them,” William Penn; “A date that will live in infamy,” Franklin D. Roosevelt).

J. Explain how law protects individual rights and the common good. K. Explain why symbols and holidays were created and the ideals they commemorate. L. Interpret Pennsylvania and United States court decisions that have impacted the principles and ideals of government. M. Interpret the impact of famous speeches and writings on civic life (e.g., The Gospel of Wealth, Declaration of Sentiments).

J. Analyze how the law promotes the common good and protects individual rights. K. Analyze the roles of symbols and holidays in society. L. Analyze Pennsylvania and United States court decisions that have affected principles and ideals of government in civic life. • Civil rights • Commerce • Judicial review • Federal supremacy M. Evaluate and analyze the importance of significant political speeches and writings in civic life (e.g., Diary of Anne Frank, Silent Spring).

 

Basic concepts found in lower grades for standard statements and their descriptors must be developed more fully throughout higher grade levels.

 

 

Academic Standards for Civics and Government

5.2. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

5.2.3.  GRADE 3

5.2.6.  GRADE 6

5.2.9.  GRADE 9

5.2.12. GRADE 12

Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to . . .

A. Identify examples of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. • Personal rights • Political rights • Economic rights • Personal responsibilities • Civic responsibilities B. Identify personal rights and responsibilities.  C. Identify sources of conflict and disagreement and different ways conflicts can be resolved. D. Identify the importance of political leadership and public service in the school, community, state and nation. E. Describe ways citizens can influence the decisions and actions of government.

A. Compare rights and responsibilities of citizenship. • Political rights • Economic rights • Personal responsibilities of the individual and to society • Civic responsibilities of the individual and to society • Traits of character of individuals and to a republican form of government B.  Explain the relationship between rights and responsibilities. C. Explain ways citizens resolve conflicts in society and government. D. Describe the importance of political leadership and public service. E. Identify examples of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

A. Contrast the essential rights and responsibilities of citizens in systems of government. • Autocracy • Democracy • Oligarchy • Republic B. Analyze citizens’ rights and responsibilities in local, state and national government. C. Analyze skills used to resolve conflicts in society and government. D. Analyze political leadership and public service in a republican form of government. E. Explain the importance of the political process to competent and responsible participation in civic life. 

A. Evaluate an individual’s civic rights, responsibilities and duties in various governments. B. Evaluate citizens’ participation in government and civic life. C. Interpret the causes of conflict in society and analyze techniques to resolve those conflicts.  D. Evaluate political leadership and public service in a republican form of government.  E. Analyze how participation in civic and political life leads to the attainment of individual and public goals.

 

Academic Standards for Civics and Government

F. Explain the benefits of following rules and laws and the consequences of violating them.  G.  Identify ways to participate in government and civic life.

F.  Describe the impact of the consequences of violating rules and laws in a civil society. G.  Explain the importance of participating in government and civic life.

F. Analyze the consequences of violating laws of Pennsylvania compared to those of the United States. G.  Analyze political and civic participation in government and society.

F. Evaluate how individual rights may conflict with or support the common good.  G. Evaluate what makes a competent and responsible citizen.

Basic concepts found in lower grades for standard statements and their descriptors must be developed more fully throughout higher grade levels.

 

Academic Standards for Civics and Government

5.3. How Government Works

5.3.3.  GRADE 3

5.3.6.  GRADE 6

5.3.9. GRADE 9

5.3.12.  GRADE 12

Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to . . .

A.  Identify the elected representative bodies responsible for making local, Pennsylvania and United States laws. B. Identify the role of the three branches of government. • Executive • Legislative • Judicial C. Identify reasons for rules and laws in the school and community. D. Identify services performed by the local, state and national governments.

A. Compare the structure, organization and operation of local, state and national governments. B. Describe the responsibilities and powers of the three branches of government. C. Explain how government actions affect citizens' daily lives. D. Describe how local, state and national governments implement their services.

A. Explain the structure, organization and operation of the local, state, and national governments including domestic and national policy-making. B. Compare the responsibilities and powers of the three branches within the national government. C. Explain how a bill becomes a law on a federal, state, and local level. D. Explain how independent government agencies create, amend and enforce regulatory policies. • Local (e.g., Zoning Board) • State (e.g., Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission) • National (e.g., Federal Communications Commission)

A. Analyze and evaluate the structure, organization and operation of the local, state, and national governments including domestic and national policy-making. B. Analyze the responsibilities and powers of the national government. C. Evaluate the process of  how a bill becomes the law on a federal, state, and local levels. D. Evaluate how independent government agencies create, amend and enforce regulations.

 

Academic Standards for Civics and Government

E. Identify positions of authority at

E. Identify major leaders of local, state

E. Explain how citizens participate in

E. Evaluate the roles of political parties in

school and in local, state and national

and national governments, their

choosing their leaders through political

election campaigns.

governments.

primary duties and their political party affiliation.

parties, campaigns and elections.

 

F. Explain what an election is.

F. Describe the voting process. • Pennsylvania • United States

F. Explain the election process. • Voter registration • Primary Elections • Caucuses • Political party conventions • General Elections • Electoral College

F. Evaluate the elements of the election process.

G. Explain why being treated fairly is

G. Describe how the government protects

G. Explain how the government protects

G. Evaluate how the government protects

important.

individual rights. • Presumption of Innocence • Right to Counsel • Trial by Jury • Bill of Rights

individual rights. • Equal protection • Habeas Corpus • Right Against Self Incrimination • Double Jeopardy • Right of Appeal • Due Process

or curtails individual rights and analyze the impact of supporting or opposing those rights.

H. Identify individual interests and explain ways to influence others.

H. Identify individual interests and how they impact government.

H. Analyze how interest groups provide opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process.

H. Evaluate the impact of interest groups on the political process.

I. Explain why taxes are necessary and identify who pays them.

I. Describe why and how government raises money to pay for its operations and services.

I. Analyze how and why government raises money to pay for its operation and services.

I. Evaluate how and why government raises money to pay for its operations and services.

J. Identify the role of the media in society.

J. Describe the influence of media in reporting issues.

J. Analyze the importance of freedom of the press.

J. Evaluate the role of media in political life in the United States and explain the role of the media in setting the

 

 

 

public agenda.

 

Academic Standards for Civics and Government

K. Identify different ways people govern themselves.

K. Describe forms of government. • Limited • Unlimited

K. Identify and explain systems of government. • Autocracy • Democracy • Oligarchy • Republic

K. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various systems of government. • Autocracy • Democracy • Oligarchy • Republic

Basic concepts found in lower grades for standard statements and their descriptors must be developed more fully throughout higher grade levels.

 

Academic Standards for Civics and Government

5.4. How International Relationships Function

5.4.3.  GRADE 3

5.4.6.  GRADE 6

5.4.9.  GRADE 9

5.4.12.  GRADE 12

Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to . . .

A. Identify how customs and traditions influence governments. B. Recognize that the world is divided into various political units.

A. Explain the concept of nation-states. B. Describe how nation-states coexist in the world community.

A.  Explain how the United States is affected by policies of nation-states, governmental and non-governmental organizations. B. Explain the role of the United States in world affairs.

A. Analyze the impact of international economic, technological and cultural developments on the government of the United States. B. Analyze the United States' interaction with other nations and governmental groups in world events.

C. Identify ways in which countries interact with the United States. D. Identify treaties and other agreements between or among nations. E. Identify how nations work together to solve problems.

C. Describe the governments of the countries bordering the United States and their relationships with the United States. D. Describe the processes that resulted in a treaty or agreement between the United States and another nation-state. E. Explain how nations work together on common environmental problems, natural disasters and trade.

C. Explain the effects United States political ideas have had on other nations. D. Contrast how the three branches of federal government function in foreign policy. E. Explain the development and the role of the United Nations and other international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental.

C. Compare how past and present United States' policy interests have changed over time and analyze the impact on future international relationships. D. Explain how foreign policy is developed and implemented. E. Compare the purposes and functions of international organizations. • Governmental (e.g., NATO, World Court, OAS) • Non-governmental    (e.g., International Red Cross, Amnesty International, World Council of Churches)

 

XV. GLOSSARY

 

Amendment (Constitutional):

Changes in, or additions to, a constitution.  Proposed by a two-thirds vote of both houses of  Congress or by a convention called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state  legislatures. Ratified by approval of three-fourths of the states.

 

Articles of Confederation:

First framework of government of the United States, 1781.  Created a weak national government; replaced in 1789 by the Constitution of the United States.

 

Authority:

Right to control or direct the actions of others, legitimized by law, morality, custom or consent.

 

Autocracy:

A government in which one person possesses unlimited power.

 

Bill of Rights:

First Ten Amendments to the Constitution.  Ratified in 1791, these amendments limit government  power and protect basic rights and liberties of individuals.

 

Caucuses:

A private meeting of members of a political party to plan action or to select delegates for a nominating convention.  The term also refers to distinct groups, either official or unofficial, in Congress, as in the black caucus in the House of Representatives.

 

Checks and balances:

Constitutional mechanisms that authorize each branch of government to share powers with the  other branches and thereby check their activities.  For example, the president may veto legislation passed by Congress, the Senate must confirm major executive appointments and the courts may  declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.

 

Citizen:

Member of a political society who therefore owes allegiance to and is entitled to protection by and from the government.

 

Citizenship:

Status of being a member of a state; one who owes allegiance to the government and is entitled to protection by and from the government.

 

 

Civic life:

A manner of existence of an individual concerned with the affairs of communities and the common good rather than solely in pursuit of private and personal interests.

 

Civic responsibilities:

Obligation of citizens to take part in the governance of the school, community, tribe, state or nation.

 

Civil disobedience:

Refusal to obey laws.  This tactic is usually passive and nonviolent, aimed at bringing injustices to the attention of lawmakers and the public at large.  An example of civil disobedience was the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

 

Civil rights:

Protections and privileges given to all United States citizens by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

 

Civil society:

The spheres of voluntary individual, social and economic relationships and organizations that although limited by law are not part of governmental institutions.

 

Classical republicanism:

Refers to government that seeks the public or common good rather than the good of a particular group or class of society.

 

Common or public good:

Benefit or interest of a politically organized society as a whole.

 

Confederal:

Relating to a league of independent states.

 

Constitutional government:

A form of authority in which a legal structure details the powers available to each branch of  government and the rights of the individual in relation to the government.  Any action by government that is not in accord with the Constitution is considered illegitimate.

 

Democracy:

Form of government in which political control is exercised by the people, either directly or through their elected representatives.

 

Diplomacy:

The art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations.

 

 

Direct democracy:

Form of government in which the people completely exercise political decisions.

 

Diversity:

State of being different; variety.

 

Documents of government:

Papers necessary for the organization and powers of government.

 

Double jeopardy:

A concept established by law that says a person cannot be tried twice for the same offense.  It is part of the Fifth Amendment, which states that “no person shall . . . be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

 

Due process of law:

Right of every citizen to be protected against arbitrary action by government.

 

Economic rights:

Financial choices and privileges that individuals may select without government prohibition.   Economic rights would include:  right to own property, change employment, operate a business  and join a labor union.

 

Electoral College:

The group of presidential electors that casts the official votes for president after the presidential  election. Each state has a number of electors equal to the total of its members in the Senate and  House of Representatives.

 

Enumerated powers:

Powers that are specifically granted to Congress by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

 

Equal protection:

An idea that no individual or group may receive special privileges from nor be unjustly  discriminated against by the political authority of the legal system.

 

Equality:

The condition of possessing substantially the same rights, privileges and immunities, and being  substantially responsible for the same duties as other members of society.

 

Federal Supremacy Clause:

Article VI of the Constitution provides that the Constitution and all federal laws and treaties shall be the "Supreme Law of the Land."  Therefore, all federal laws take precedence over state and local laws.

 

 

 

Federal system (or Federalism):

Federalism: Foreign Policy: Government:

Habeas Corpus:

Individual responsibility: Individual rights: Interest group:

International organizations: Judicial Review:

Justice: Leadership:

Form of political organization in which governmental power is divided between a central  government and territorial subdivisions (e.g., in the United States - the national, state and local governments).

The distribution of power in a government between a central authority and states and the 

distribution of power among states with most powers retained by central government. Actions of the federal government directed to matters beyond United States’ borders, especially  relations with other countries.

Institutions and procedures through which a territory and its people are ruled. Court order demanding that the individual in custody be brought into court and shown the cause 

for detention.  Habeas corpus is guaranteed by the Constitution and can be suspended only in the case of rebellion or invasion. Fulfilling the moral and legal obligations of membership in society. Just claims due a person by law, morality or tradition as opposed to those due to groups. Organized body of individuals who share same goals and try to influence public policy to meet 

those goals. Groups formed by nation-states to achieve common political, social or economic goals. Doctrine that permits the federal courts to declare unconstitutional, and thus null and void, acts 

of the Congress, the executive branch and the states.  The precedent for judicial review was

established in the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison. That which may be obtained through fair distribution of benefits and burdens, fair correction of wrongs and injuries, or use of fair procedures in gathering information and making decisions.

State or condition of one who guides or governs.

Liberal Democracy: Government that recognizes that the individual has rights that exist independently of 

 

government and which ought to be protected by and against government.

 

Liberty:

Freedom from restraint under conditions essential to the equal enjoyment of the same right  by others.

 

Limited government:

A legal structure where officials in authority do not have enormous power.  The Constitution of the United States limits government through methods of checks and balances.

 

Majority rule:

Decision by more than half of those participating in the decision-making process.

 

Minority rights:

Opportunities that a member is entitled to have, or to receive from others within  the limits of the law, even though he/she may not be part of the controlling group.

 

Nation-state:

Divisions of the world in which each state claims sovereignty over defined territory and jurisdiction over everyone within it.  These states interact using diplomacy, formal agreements and sanctions that may be peaceful or may involve the use of force.

 

NATO:

North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an international transatlantic partnership consisting of various European states, the United States and Canada, which was designed through cooperation, consultation and collective defense to maintain peace and promote stability throughout Europe.

 

Non-governmental  organization:

A group in a free society that is not a part of any government institution and does not derive its power from government.

 

OAS:

Organization of American States, an international governmental organization formed by the states  of North and South America for security and the protection of mutual interests.

 

Oligarchy:

A government in which a small group exercises control. These systems are usually based on wealth, military power of social position.

 

Patriotism

A feeling of pride in and respect for one's country.

 

 

Personal rights:

Private legal privileges and decisions that individuals are free to participate in without  intervention from government.  Personal rights would include the right to vote, petition, assemble,  seek public office.

 

Political party:

Any group, however loosely organized, that seeks to elect government officials under a given label.

 

Political rights:

Legal claims by citizens to participate in government and be treated fairly. Political rights would include the right to vote, petition, assemble, and seek public office.

 

Popular sovereignty:

The concept that ultimate political authority rests with the people to create, alter or  abolish governments.

 

Presumption of innocence:

The legal concept that a criminal defendant is not guilty until the prosecution proves every  element of the crime, beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

Privacy:

The right to be left alone; the right of an individual to withhold one’s self and one's property from public scrutiny if one so chooses.

 

Public service:

Action of benefit to local, state or national communities through appointed or elected office.

 

Republic:

Form of government in which political control is exercised through elected representatives.

 

Republican form of government:

System of government in which power is held by the voters and is exercised by elected  representatives responsible for promoting the common welfare.

 

Right against     self-incrimination:

Individual right found in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution that prevents an individual from being forced to testify against himself or herself.

 

Right of appeal:

The right to seek review by a superior court of an injustice done or error committed by an  inferior court, whose judgment or decision the court above is called upon to correct or reverse.

 

 

Right to counsel:

Individual right found in the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution that requires criminal  defendants to have access to legal representation.

Rule of Law:

Principle that every member of a society, even a ruler, must follow the law.

Separation of powers:

Distribution among the branches of government to ensure that the same person or group will not make the law, enforce the law and interpret the law. 

State:

A commonwealth; a nation; a civil power.

Treaty:

Formal agreement between or among sovereign nations to create or restrict rights and responsibilities. In the United States all treaties must be approved by a two-thirds vote in the Senate.

Trial by jury:

Individual right found in the Sixth and Seventh Amendment of the Constitution that guarantees a  person an impartial jury.

Truth:

Agreement of thought and reality that can eventually be verified.

Unitary government:

An authoritative system in which all regulatory power is vested in a central government from which regional and local governments derive their powers (e.g., Great Britain and France as well  as the American states within their spheres of authority).

United Nations:

International organization comprising most of the nation-states of the world.  It was formed in 1945 to promote peace, security and economic development.

Unlimited government:

A legal structure where officials in authority have unrestricted power.  Examples of unlimited governments would be authoritarian or totalitarian systems without restraints on their power.

World Court:

Court in The Hague, the Netherlands, set up by the United Nations Treaty to which nations may voluntarily submit disputes.