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Political Science 1: Chapter One

by: Bailey Olmstead

Political Science 1: Chapter One POLS 001

Marketplace > Pasadena City College > Political Science > POLS 001 > Political Science 1 Chapter One
Bailey Olmstead
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This is the first chapter from the textbook "American Government: Roots and Reform". This covers what'll be on the test Sept. 19th.
Introduction to American Government and Politics
Cheryl Beard
Class Notes
American Government, Government, Politics, political science, PoliSci, PCC, government notes, American Government: Roots and Reform, Cheryl Beard, Chapter 1, introduction to american government




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bailey Olmstead on Thursday September 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 001 at Pasadena City College taught by Cheryl Beard in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Introduction to American Government and Politics in Political Science at Pasadena City College.


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Date Created: 09/01/16
Intro to American Government  Pasadena City College  Text: ​American Government: Roots and Reform  Chapter One  American Government: Roots, Context, and Culture  Introduction  ● The London Company was made to bring British colonization to the New World. This  company created the first permanent settlement in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.  ○ The colony suffered from failed agricultural ventures, disease, hunger, Native  American attacks, and ultimately poor leadership.  ● History allows us to how ​government​ the formal vehicle through which policies are  made and affairs of state are conducte​ works.  1.1 ­ Roots of American Government: We the People  ● Indigenous peoples had been living in America for more than 30,000 years.  ○ They were not a homogeneous group: they varied in culture, customs, values,  and political systems. The estimated amount of population before colonists was  100 million people.  ■ This number diminished as new diseases and war with European settlers  came into their societies.  ● Many Europeans came to North America for commerce and wealth.   ○ The Dutch New Netherlands company settled in New York and Delaware, and  later the Dutch West India Company established trading posts on the Hudson.  ○ Fort Orange (now Albany) and New Amsterdam (now Manhattan) were populated  by employees and colonists alike.  ■ Immigrants also included free blacks, creating an ethnic and racial mix  with its own system of cultural inclusiveness, which lives on in the present  day.  ● In 1620 the​  Puritans got on ​ ayflower and landed in Massachusetts. They came for  religious purposes, not commercial. They aimed to be a beacon of righteousness, and  had strict rules and authority.  ○ In 1631, Roger Williams preached an extreme separation from the Church of  England as well as the right for Europeans to settle on Native American lands.  He also preached against the Puritans for being too judgemental when it was  God’s duty to judge, not theirs.  ■ Williams was banished from the colony, and he went on to establish  Providence in Rhode Island for his own followers.  ○ Anne Hutchinson was also viewed as heretical and blasphemous by the Puritans,  her progressive views included religious tolerance and equality for women.  ■ Hutchinson was banished and went to settle in Portsmouth in Rhode  Island, and implemented popular sovereignty instead of religious.  ○ Thomas Hooker wasn’t banned from the Puritan colony, but relocated with his  followers when his ideas of men’s right to vote regardless of religious views or  property qualifications were in disagreement with the Puritans.  ● Later Colonies had more religious tolerance. King Charles II gave William Penn  ownership of what’s now Pennsylvania. He was a Quaker but launched the “holy  experiment” to attract other persecuted religious factions throughout Europe.   ○ The survival of this colony is attributed to the ethnic and religious diversity.  1.2 ­ Types of Government  ● Plato and Aristotle classified the types of government by who participates, who governs,  and how much authority those who govern have:    Rule By  Public  Self  One  Monarchy  Tyranny  The Few  Aristocracy  Oligarchy  The Many  Polity  Democracy    ● Monarchy ​(power is vested in hereditary kings and queens who govern in the interest of  all)​ was the form of government in England from which the colonists fle​ ristocracy​ ​is  another form,​ where the government is ruled by the few for the many.  ● Totalitarianism ​(​power is in a leader who rules due to self­interest and without regard  for individual rights/liber​  was thought to be ruled by tyranny and based on one  religion, orthodoxy, ideology, or cult organized a supreme leader.  ● Oligarchy​ ​(​power held by the few, depending on wealth, social status, position, and  achievement, ruling in their own interes​  Russia and China are examples.  ● Polity ​(​ruling of the many for the benefit of all citizens​) is a part of ​De​ ​ruling of  the many to benefit themselves by elected representatives.)  ● American colonists rejected the British Monarchy and Aristocracy, and opted for a  republican form of government, with people at the center. ​ ​Direct democracy​ ​(members  of the polity discuss policy and abide by majority rul​ wouldn’t work for a large nation,  so they replaced it with​ ndirect democracy  ​ ​(citizens elect representatives on their  behalf​).  ● Many citizens preferred the term ​republic ​​ overnment rooted in the consent of the  governed, a representative democracy.) ​  The words are used interchangeably, but are  not the same.  1.3 ­ Functions of American Government  ● The Framers, through the Constitution, gave many governmental guarantees and key  functions to citizens.  ○ Establishing Justice: Laws for individuals to abide, as well as legal authorities.  The Constitution allowed Congress to make a federal judicial system. The Bill of  Rights later amended judicial rights, like juries, knowing charges, and an impartial  judge.  ○ Ensuring Domestic Tranquility: On smaller levels is the police force, the state  national guard, and all the way up to the federal government’s armed forces. The  Department of Homeland Security was questioned in its practices in other  countries and even methods used in the US to uncover threats.  ○ Providing for the Common Defense: defending its citizens from foreign  aggression, and calling the president to be commander in chief of the armed  forces. Congress raises the army and controls the defense budget.  ○ Promoting the General Welfare: originally was more an idea than a mandate.  What governments should provide to its citizens, though there is no universal  agreement on this issue.  ○ Securing the Blessings of Liberty: enjoying freedom and liberties and opportunity.  Freedom to criticize and petition the actions of the government are given to all  citizens.  1.4 American Political Culture and the Basic Tenets of American Democracy  ● ● ​ ​ ● ● ● ● ● ● 1.5 ­ The Changing American People  ● ● ● which will no doubt change the demographics of America and take away the term  minority.  ● Changes in fertility, expectancy, and immigration have changed the age profile in the  US. An aging America is also an expensive one. The age difference now is very large,  politically making old people and young people vote opposite each other on issues that  are significant only to them.  ● Christian beliefs still resonate in American social and political systems, like in policies  and in education.  ● Sectional differences in the US happened right away. Many immigrants brought varying  demands and issues involving government and its role.   ○ The most dramatic regional difference is the North and South. Even when the  Constitution was being written the South advocated a smaller, weaker federal  government and a stronger power in the states. The Civil War later was fought in  part because of this.  ○ Rural and urban areas also have vast differences, rural tending to be more  conservative and republican while cities more liberal and democratic.  ● Family size has changed over time, with the number of children shrinking. 25% of  children have single parents and nearly ⅓ of all households are singular, reflecting the  aging American population and declining marriage rates.  ○ These numbers affect the demands people place on government, since  single­parent families are more likely to support and depend on  government­subsidized school and daycare programs.  1.6 ­ Political Ideology  ● Political ideology​ ​ he coherent set of values and beliefs people hold about the purpose  and scope of government​) is all in the actions of individuals. Extreme examples are  Islamic terrorists and neo­Nazis.   ○ Ideologies are systems of beliefs that shape the thinking of individuals in regards  to the world, especially in race, nationality, governmental role, men and women,  human responsibility in the environment, etc.  ● Two things that shape human history: science/technology and ideological battles.  Explosions of nationalism, racism, religious bigotry that are unpredictable.  ● Four functions that political scientists attribute to ideologies:  ○ 1. Explanation: ideologies offer reasons why social and political conditions are  they are, especially in times of crisis. Communist countries are one example.  ○ 2. Evaluation: ideologies can provide standards for evaluating social conditions,  political institutions and events. Americans’ belief in the individual can explain  why many opposed the Obamacare reform.  ○ 3. Orientation: ideologies provide citizens with a compass for issues and a  position in the world.   ○ 4. Political Program: ideologies help people make political choices and guide  political actions.  ● Religious, philosophical, and cultural beliefs create natural groups within society and  often lead to political conflict.   ● A ​conservative​ ​(​favoring limited government intervention, particularly in economics)  favors local and state action over federal and favor fiscal responsibility. They prefer the  private sector can better deal with homelessness, poverty, and discrimination.  ● A ​ ​social conservativ​ (​believing the government should support and further traditional  moral teachings, many evangelical) ​ has increasingly affected politics and policies since  the ‘70s. They prefer government intervention with issues pertaining to their own beliefs,  such as sexual and social behavior, abortion, and same­sex marriage.   ● A ​liberal ​(​favors greater government intervention, particularly in economic and social  services​) seeks to use the government to change the staus quo and develop equality  and well­being of all individuals. They generally oppose efforts to regulate private  behavior or infringement of civil rights and liberties.   ● A ​moderate​ (​takes a relatively centrist view on most political issues)​ viewpoint was  favored by Aristotle, believing it was better than any extremes.  ● Many studies reveal that most Americans count themselves conservative or liberal on  one issue and can be the opposite on another issue. The left­to­right continuum can’t  fully explain the complexity of most’s ideologies. Alternate perspectives on the spectrum:  ○ Statists ​(​believes in extensive government control of personal/ecomic liberties)  ○ Libertarians ​(​believes in limited government interference of personal/economic  liberties.)  1.7 ­ Toward Reform: People and Politics  ● American ​politics​ ​(​the study of who gets what, when, and how/ how policy decisions are  made​) has changed over time, creating winners and losers and those with specific  ideologies in control of Congress.   ● Political culture bind citizens together to create t​ merican Dream  ​ ​ he ideal of a  happy, successful life with wealth, a home, better life for your children, and the  oppurtunity to be president)​ which 60% of the population is still working towards.  ● For the first 150 years of our nation, the federal government had few responsibilities, and  the state governments had more power in terms of everyday life. As the nation grew the  federal government took on more and more responsibility.  ● Today 7 out of 10 Americans disagree with the way the country is being run, and these  concerns make it easy to blame the government for many things, when really Americans  hold a much higher standard of living due to governmental programs and protections.  ● Current dissatisfaction could be a phase in the American body politic as the system and  its citizens continues to redefine ideas and expectations about its government, though  the American ideology on the individual will have heavily influences on that restructuring  in the future.   ● A thorough understanding of the workings of government will allow you to question the  political system, and decide for yourself about changes and reformations, becoming a  more active participant in the political process.       


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