Ethical Systems of Government

Unit 9 – Discussion Question 1
Ethical Systems of Government
America was founded on ethical principles that were in vogue at the time. Foundational in these principles are concepts such as beneficence and non-maleficence. These concepts have evolved over time as our systems and society’s needs have grown more complex and the ethical challenges less clear-cut.
Describe the concepts of ethics that were prevalent when the founding fathers were writing the Constitution. Analyze how these concepts may have changed in modern times. Reflect on what this might mean for the public administrator of the future, and for your own public sector career.
***Discussion Preparation
To prepare for discussions in this unit, complete the following:

  • Locate sources that tell you about how the founding fathers regarded ethics as they wrote the Constitution. Locate additional sources that describe how these same concepts are considered today.
  • Identify at least three peer-reviewed sources on civil rights violations in America.


  • In Thiroux and Krasemann, read Chapter 8, “Setting Up a Moral System: Basic Assumptions and Basic Principles,” pages 138–159.

Review your mindmap for any final additions. Prepare to save this mindmap for future additions from other courses and for your use in later courses.