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Intro to American Politics Chapter 1 Notes

by: Alexa Wolf

Intro to American Politics Chapter 1 Notes POLS 101S

Marketplace > Old Dominion University > Political Science > POLS 101S > Intro to American Politics Chapter 1 Notes
Alexa Wolf
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Intro to American Politics
Mr. Mark Checchia

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About this Document

These notes cover the first chapter of Introduction to American politics lecture, defining the role of government and the different types of political ideologies (Liberalism, Conservatism, Populism...
Intro to American Politics
Mr. Mark Checchia
Class Notes
Politics, american politics, Government, American Government




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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alexa Wolf on Tuesday January 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 101S at Old Dominion University taught by Mr. Mark Checchia in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Intro to American Politics in Political Science at Old Dominion University.


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Date Created: 01/19/16
POLS 1018 Intro to American Politics Chapter 1 Lecture 0 Institutions and officials whose purpose is to write and enact laws and to execute and enforce public policy 0 Activities aimed at in uencing or controlling government for the purpose of formulating or guiding public policy Historical Role of Government 0 Regulate commerce 0 Education policy 0 Resource management Era of Modern Government As society became more complex demands for increasing government involvement grew Public demand for an increasing role for government permeated all facets of American life 0 Environmental policy Social Security and other social welfare programs Job creation and expansion Regulation of industry Authority Power Government Without authority laws can be ignored Without power government cannot enforce policies Tools for Understanding Politics The complexity of the political world forces us to find shortcuts to help us make sense of what we observe Three common tools are 1 Political myths 2 Power of reason 3 Beliefs and ideologies Political Mvths Political myths help us understand an increasingly complex political world 0 Stories can act as narratives to in uence the public 0 Ex Honest Abe George Washington and the cherry tree 0 Stereotypes can easily and often inaccurately create groups 0 Ex Taxspending liberals guntoting conservatives 0 Pervasive attitudes are widely held beliefs that are often accepted without any direct knowledge 0 Ex All politicians are corrupt all governments are wasteful POLS 1018 Intro to American Politics The Power of Reason Reasoned analysis serves as an alternate to myths by requiring us to use logic and evidence to understand our political system while also requiring a functional understanding of the political system Most Americans do not use reasoned analysis Beliefs and Ideologies Beliefs are often ingrained in our thought processes early in life and are difficult to change Cognitive dissonance Beliefs are challenged by evidence but we ignore the evidence to protect our beliefs Ideologies focus on what should happen rather than what does happen 0 Distinguished by two primary criteria 39 Government intervention in economics 39 Government intervention in private affairs 0 Dominant ideologies are viewed on two dimensions I Dichotomous black or white 39 Continuum shades of gray Liberalism Favors government intervention in the economy including job creation legislation industrial regulations etc Opposes government intervention in the private lives of citizens including abortion samesex marriage etc Typically associated with traditional view of Democratic Party Conservatism Opposes government intervention in the economy thus favoring limited regulation of business and decreasing the size of government Favors government intervention in the private lives of citizens such as limits on pornography or abortion Typically associated with the traditional views of the Republican Party Populism Favors government intervention in the economy such as tariffs on imported goods and increasing the minimum wage Favors government intervention in the private lives of citizens including criminalizing drugs or introducing prayer in schools Many politicians claim to be populist but only adhere to the economic aspects of populist thinking POLS 1018 Intro to American Politics Libertarianism 0 Opposes government intervention in the economy including eliminating most government regulations 0 Opposes government intervention in the private lives of citizens including supporting abortion rights and marijuana legalization 0 Most misunderstood of the four categories 0 Most politicians that claim to be libertarian don t fit the mold completely


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