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POLS 1110- American Politics

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by: Makayla Prince

POLS 1110- American Politics POLS 1110 - 003

Makayla Prince
GPA 3.2
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About this Document

These notes cover the first week of material
American Politics
Jason Giersch
Class Notes
political science, american politics, Declaration of Independence, democracy, Government




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"Please tell me you're going to be posting these awesome notes every week.."
Leilani Reilly

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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Makayla Prince on Friday January 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 1110 - 003 at University of North Carolina - Charlotte taught by Jason Giersch in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 181 views. For similar materials see American Politics in Political Science at University of North Carolina - Charlotte.

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Date Created: 01/15/16
POLS 1110: American Politics   Week 1    The Declaration of Independence  ● What is it?  ­A message to the world of colonists and their desire for independence   ­A list of complaints   ­An application of political philosophy   ­An act of patriotism   ­An act of treason     ● How is it organized?  ­Introduction states its purpose  ­Discussion of philosophy   ­List of complaints  ­Conclusion argues for independence     ● When is revolution justified? (according to the D.O.I.)  ­When taxes are high  ­When the government violates rights   ­When the King is too greedy    ● Questions for the Declaration of Independence  ­What about slavery?  ­What about women?  ­What about the poor? Uneducated?  ­Does “​consent”​ and “representation”​  mean voting?  ­What would a better system be like?    Themes in this Course  ● Scope of Government  ­What should we expect from the government?  ­What should the government ​ not be involved in?    ● Democracy  ­Does ______ increase or reduce democracy in our country?         Introducing Government in America  ● What is Government?  ­The institutions through which public policies are made for a society    ● How should we Govern?  ­Is democracy the ​best system?  ­Are there different​inds of democracy?  ­Are there differentdegrees​ of democracy?    ● What should the Government ​ do?​ (popular answers from the public)  ­Maintain a natural defense  ­Provide public goods and services  ­Preserve order  ­Socialize the young (what does it mean to be a member of society?)  ­Collect taxes (resources for society come in the form of taxes)    ● What is politics?  ­”Who gets what, when, and how.” ​  ­H.D. Laswell  ­Or, which leaders we choose and the politics that they pursue     ● Political Participation   ­More than just voting    ● Single Issue Groups  ­Abortion, environmental issues, taxes, etc.    ● Policymaking System  ­People shape policy  ­Policies impact people    ● Public Policy  ­Statute (law)  ­Presidential action  ­Court Decision  ­Budgetary choice   ­Regulation   *Policies should be effective and must have a goal      ● What is Democracy?  ­”Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  ​ ­Abraham Lincoln     ● Key Principles (according to Robert Dahl)  ­Equality in voting  ­Effective participation (equal influence)  ­Enlightened understanding (freedom of speech and freedom of press)  ­Citizen control of the policy agenda  ­Inclusion (access to citizenship for all)     *Majority rule and minority rights; representation     ● Three Contemporary Theories of American Democracy  1. Pluralism­​  Groups of minorities working together (viewed as a positive light)  2. Elitism­​  Power is held by the wealthy (pessimistic view)  3. Hyperpluralism­​  Too many groups trying to control policy     ● Challenges to Democracy  ­Increased complexity of issues   ­Limited participation in government   ­Diverse political interest  ­Policy gridlock   ­Escalating campaign costs = rising influence of money    ● Political Culture Based on American Creed  ­Liberty  ­Egalitarianism (equality)  ­Individualism   ­Laissez­faire   ­Populism     A Culture War?  ● Polarization of liberal and conservative political culture   ­Is it actually happening?    ● Testing a crisis of values  ­Loss of traditional values  ­Less patriotism  ­Irreconcilable differences   *What should the role of government be?    How Active is American Government?  ● Gross Domestic Product (GDP)  ­Government spends ⅓ percent   ­Government employs approximately 24 million people    ● Americans Expect the Government to solve ​ All Problems   ­Unemployment, terrorism, illegal immigration, energy conservation, education system,  healthcare, etc.      


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