Unit One Section Gamma

What is identity?
A. Personal identity is the distinct identity that either onself or others persive or label an individual to be. Others can do this either unconstiously or consiously based on what they observe about the individual. An individual's personal identity can be based off of personality or behavioral traits, or simply concrete facts such as where the individual was born, where they attend school etc. However ones personal identity is not always permanent. It can change based on how the individual changes (in personality or in basic facts). Like Chris said in his speech, people are given different names/name tags that represent what they want to be seen as, and what others actually do see them as. If the individual is not happy with what name they are given, they can try to change their personal identity to the name they want to be known as.

B. Cultural identity is the identity of a group or culture that is given by other countries but technically made by the actual country. A countries cultural identity can be made based on the countries economy, government or political system, its religion, geography, technology, and even its allies and enemies. Other countries see all of these attributes about the country or cultural group and then make an identity for them. They can assume that if a country has advanced technology, they are ready for war. Technically, a cultural group or country is the one in charge of all the various factors that make the other countries establish the countries cultural identity. This means that just like personal identity, a country or cultural group's identity can change based on the actions that the country or cultural group makes. Cultural identity causes a lot of chaos because the people's identities making up the country or cultural group might not match up exactly. This means that the lines that seperate land into various countries might not be the lines that seperate the people's identity. Religion is a great example. If there is a percentage of people that have a different religion then what a country or cultural group is known for, this could make trouble. All in all, cultural identity is a very complex idea.
What key elements/areas define a country?
Key elements: Economy, Government/political system, majority religion, geography, culture, allies/enemies, languages, history (by whom was the country first colonized), education, legal system and the advancement of their technology.

l. Economy:
The sections of a country that partake in the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
Define: Economy
All the various parts that participate in the production , exchange, distribution and consumption of goods and services of that area.
Economic System:
An economic system guides the allocation and distribution of resources, the output of the economy and goods and services.
What are the two major questions that need to be asked about any country's economic system?
1. How is economic activity coordinated- by the market or the plan?
2. Who owns the means of production? Capitalism? Socialism?
What are the major types of economic systems? Explain them and give examples.
There are two spectrums of economic systems with four extremes on either sides. The first spectrum is a market economy, where the people control how the market works, deciding on prices, plans and overall guidelines. The other side of this spectrum is the planed economy, where the government makes all of the spending decisions, guidelines for marketing and plans the path of the economy. The second spectrum has on the first side a capitalistic economy, and on the second a socialistic economy. The capitalistic economy is one where all of the businesses means of production of goods and services are owned by private companies or orginizations. The companies or orginizations are the groups of people who can make all the decisions with what to do with their product or service. The socialistic economy is one where the government owns all means of production and stimulation of the economy, therefore gaining a lot more control over the direction of the economic market. They could then much more closely monitor the economy and stimulate it when necessary. Although those are the extremes, most countries are somewhere in between on the spectrums. For example, the U.S.A would fall right in the middle of most of those spectrums, while other countries would lean more to one side or another.


II. Political Systems/Government

Define: political system
A political system is the government of any country and the way people within that government are decided. Political Systems are usually compared to a legal system, economic system, cultural system. There are many different types of political systems, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Do you want the people to dictate the decisions of your country? A few members of the government? Or maybe just one person. There is an individual political system corresponding to each of the needs of a country. The political system of a country can really change how it runs. If a country is communist it will run very differently than a democratic country.

What are the major types of political systems? Explain them.
The major types of political systems are Monarchy, Dictatorship, Democracy, Communism, Theocracy, Oligarchy and Anarchy. A Monarchy is ruled by a monarch. Most monarchs achieve royalty through family. However, monarchies can sometimes become a dictatorship. A dictatorship is a government that is ruled by a single person and places no power with the people. Democracy is the total opposite of dictatorship. Democracies put a lot of the power with the people and have multiple branches of government to carry out different tasks.There are two different kinds of democracy. Direct democracy is when the people vote on every issue. This is impractical in populated places, where it would be cumbersome to gather everybody to vote for something that may not affect them. Therefore, representative democracies are more common. People in a representative democracy vote for a representative who then vote on the public's behalf. In Communism, everyone works to create goods, and then can take from these goods based on their need. Communism is ruled by the workers. The theory of this type of government by a man named Karl Marx, who believed that the workers would revolt and overthrow the rich. Theocracy is a government that is based on religion. An example of this is Saudi Arabia, where the laws are based on Sharia, the religious law of Islam. In an Oligarchy a small group of people run a country. In ancient Greece Sparta was an Oligarchy, where two kings ran the city along with a council of elders. Finally, Anarchy is an absence of a formal government and of a state or ruler.


III. Religon/Belief System
Define: religion
A religion is a set of beliefs or world views that relate humanity to moral values of spirituality. A religion also must have a public aspect, not just an individuals beliefs. Many religions have symbols, traditions, and sacred histories that give meaning to life.

What are the Abrahamic Religions? Describe them.
The Abrahamic religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Judaism traces their roots back to Abraham. Judaism is based on the Torah which consists of the 5 books of Moses, and it is one of the 1st monotheistic religions. Judaism teaches of Jesus being a skillful teacher and a good man, and not of him being the son of g-d More on Judaism. Christianity believes they are the completion to the old testament as Jesus being the Messiah. They follow Jesus's teachings and accept Jesus as the son of God. Christians believe in both the writings of the Old Testament and the New Testament, while Jews only believe in the Old Testament More on Christianity. Islam also sees Abraham as their originator but believes the other religions are not relevent being that g-d (or Allah) revealed the Qu'ran to his final messenger, Muhammad More on Islam.

What are the major Indian Religions? Describe them.
-Hinduism: 900 million followers. There isn't a founder or date of origin. It's based on ancient text-VEDAS with duties (DHARMA) appropriate to one's class/caste. You are born into a particuar caste, and have limited opprotunities to move up/ down during your life. (VARNAS) varies-one or more Deities reincarnation. More on Hinduism
-Buddhism: 360 million followers. It was founded in India, and popular in the Far East. Respect for teaching of the Buddha (" The Enlightened One"), Siddhavtha Gantama- 500 BCE- Hindu prince who renounced worldly pleasures to seek enlightenment end suffering. More on Buddism
-Jainsim: 4.2 million followers. Jainism is very similar to Hinduism but it rejects the idea of castes. It is based around nonviolence towards all living things. Jainism emphasizes self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness (Any soul that has succeeded in conquering its inner enemies). More on Jainism
-Sikhism: 25 million followers. It was founded in India and it follows the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev. Famous quote; "There is no Islam and there is no Hinduism there is only God." More on Sikhism

What are the major Chinese Religions?
  • Confucianism
    • Ethical life (basically how you relate to others). One who believes in Confucianism thinks that human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible. More on Confucianism
  • Taoism (Daoism)
    • Where an individual has balance with nature and yourself. More on Taoism
IV. Judicial System
The Judicial System is a system of courts that defines and applies the law. This branch of Government applies these laws in the name of the state. The Judicial System does not make the laws, but they do enforce them, interpret them, and apply them to the facts in various cases. However, most Judicial branches have the power to change the law if they find it unnecessary or incompatible.

V. Legal System
Define: Legal System
map of differnet countries legal systems
A legal system is basically a country's laws and how the are carried out. Legal systems are crucial for economic developement.
  • Civil Law
    • Also known as the "Continental European Law", is the most widespread system of law around the world. The central source of law that is recognized as most reliable are constitutions or statutes. This originated in great extent from the Roman law.
    • In civil law, crimes are decided on what the actual written legislature says, with much less room for error. More on Civil Law
  • Common Law
    • Law that is developed by legal decisions rather than by legislative action.
    • In common law, more of the power is given to the courts, because crimes are decided on the precedent of other cases. Then, judges can determine whether a law is constitutional and how the laws should be applied to certain cases. In this sense, the legislative branch also does have some power since they are the ones who create the laws.
    • Some places that use common law as their legal system are Great Britain, the U.S.A, India, Australia and Pakistan. More on Common Law
Into which category does the American system fit?
The United States uses mainly common law but is a mixture of both civil and common law. It came from the British system. The only exception to this is Louisiana, who bases their legal system from the people who originally colonized Louisiana, the French. This means that their system is based more on Civil Law than any other states just like Continental European Law. The United States puts a lot of power in Supreme Court Justices, and allows them to interpret the Constitution depending on the case. They also use precedent to look at current cases. This allows them to find similar situations in the past, and imitate that ruling.
Religious systems:
Sharia/Islamic law
A religious law legal system usually means that a religious leader interprets the country's religion from their holy book, base their political decsions on the so called "descions" of their believer (ex: Karhan). More on Sharia

VI. Other Elements
Geography: The physical formation of a country's landscape and where it is located on the Earth. This could impact the country's export/import industry, how much tourism the country receives, and who immigrates to that country. It also influences what other countries are around it and who it has conflicts with.
History: The recorded past of a culture/country, particularly how it was colonized and who it was colonized by.
Language: The dialect used to communicate in the culture/country. This could also impact how the country interacts with other countries.
Technology:The technological abilities of the country such as weapons, vehicles and factories. Technology also includes how much technology is part of the country/culture's daily life (cell phones, televisions, computers).
Dress: The clothing or garments that are worn by the country/culture. Depending on how one dresses, people can make assumptions about them.
Allies/Enemies: Allies are countries that have a treaty with an other country or some other form of bond. An enemy country that is in conflict with it.