Opportunities citizens have to
impact their government.
Types of Citizen’s
• Native Born: born in the US, or a child of a
• Naturalized: becomes a legal citizen through
the naturalization process.
A Democratic Society
• Our government derives it’s power from the
• Gets its power from the citizens.
• “Active participation by all citizens is our only
• “Salvation of the state is the watchfulness of
Role of the Citizen
• Citizens of the US play a role in government.
Elements of Citizenship can be broken into two
• Obligations: must do. If you don’t there is a
• Responsibilities: Should do. If you don’t there is no
• 26th Amendment: 18 years old.
• 14th Amendment: Voting Rights to All.
• What is the age group LEAST likely to vote?
• By NOT voting, you allow a minority to make
decisions for you.
– By giving power to a few, you put your freedoms in jeopardy.
– 50%-60% vote in presidential Elections
– 40%-50% vote in Congressional Elections
– 30%-40% vote in state/local elections.
2. Jury Duty
• 6th Amendment: gives people some control over
• Jury duty is an OBLIGATION.
• No longer take jury duty from voter registration list.
• “Dodging jury duty erodes the foundation we have
– Again, without a jury, our justice and freedoms are
put in jeopardy.
– Jury of peers. What do we mean by “peer”?
3. Obey Laws
• “Equal Justice under Law” (Supreme Court)
• 14th Amendment: guarantees equal
protection under the law.
• “No one is so important that they are above
the law, and no one is so insignificant that
they can’t look to the law for protection.”
• Obeying laws is an OBLIGATION.
4. Paying Taxes
• “It’s human nature to resent the government taking
it’s share of your income. But it’s also human nature
to demand the conveniences , improvements and
protection our taxes provide.”
• Paying taxes is an OBLIGATION.
• Our country attempted to work without collecting
taxes…it failed to be successful! (Articles of
5. Serving in the Military
• Our country won it’s independence because people
fought and gave their blood and lives for the belief in
freedom and democracy.
• Our government doesn’t require military service
from it’s citizens, but without a military our freedoms
• Yet, every male 18 years and old is OBLIGATED to
register for the Selective Service.
• “I Want You!” Uncle Sam created to recruit men into
military during World War 1.
• Since then, he’s been a symbol of America
6. Respecting Others
• “Tolerance is not only ‘putting up with’ other people
who are different from ourselves. It’s the spirit of
trying to understand them.”
• American ideal is equality of all men.
– Civil War
– Civil Rights Movement.
– Women’s Suffrage.
7. Supporting Education
• “America fears no enemy but ignorance”
• Purpose of schools is to create educated, active
citizens who are capable of carrying the torch of
freedom for the next generation.
• Education costs money (about $11,000 per student
8. Community Service
• Working together accomplishes much more than on
could hope to achieve on his/her own.
• Community service is more about giving your time
and ability rather than money.
• Our country needs its people to get involved and stay
involved, to invest their lives into their communities,
to give their hearts to their neighbors, and to not
expect someone else to bear the burden.
9. Honoring the Past
• Citizens must know and understand the history of this
country to truly appreciate the freedoms and rights
we take for granted.
• Unfortunately, most native citizens cannot even pass
a simple government & history test…
• Which is why government & politics is a graduation
requirement! Schools have realized that they weren’t
doing their job in the past,so they’ve raised the bar.