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Intro to American Politics Week 1

by: Kiera Drymalski

Intro to American Politics Week 1 POL 10100-002

Kiera Drymalski
GPA 3.4

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Week 1 Notes
Into to American Government and Politics
Odeh Halaseh
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kiera Drymalski on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POL 10100-002 at Kent State University taught by Odeh Halaseh in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Into to American Government and Politics in Politics-American Politics at Kent State University.

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Date Created: 09/03/16
American Politics Week 1 Notes Kiera Drymalski ▯ Politics and Power in American Context Monday, January 25, 2016  Why should we vote?  Is it important for Americans to know the answers to simple civics questions?  What is politics? What does it mean? o Give and take or game which occurs in which rules are made, players and playing fields are chosen, and power is sought after o Winners and Losers  Winners: those that win office, when your agenda is passed or movement on the agenda  Outcomes of the game affect everyone including the common citizen who may or may not have been playing the game or cared about the game  Outcomes are public policy  Outcomes matter because they are implications o Political competition occurs at every level of the government NOT just the national level o Biggest winners and losers of every game are the common citizens  Political outcomes have real life implications  What is power? o Commodity most sought after in the game o Ability to make something happen or keep it from happening o When a government taxes is an exercise of power o Power is a means to an end  Goal isn't to win today, but it is to win tomorrow  Politics is a game —> power is a commodity sought after —> more power you have the more you get done  Power is not a finite resource  It grows and recedes  Types of Governments o Government is the political system by which a community is administered or regulated  Anarchy (least government control)  Non-authoritarian System  Authoritarian System (most government control) o Autocracy or Tyranny (Totalitarian)  1 person has unlimited or uncontrolled authority over others  Examples- North Korea, Iraq (pre- 2003) o Monarchy  sovereignty is vested in a single person whose right to rule is generally hereditary and who is empowered to remain in office for life  Power may range from absolute to strongly limited by custom or constitution (constitutional monarchy)  Absolute Ex. Bhutan, Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Switzerland  Constitutional Ex.: Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Norway, UK o Theocracy  Government claims to dram its power from divine or religious authority  Example: Iran o Anarchy  Absence of government and laws o Democracy  Rule by the people o Republic  Representative democracy where citizens vote for representatives who work in the political system on their behalf ▯ Politics and Power in American Context Wednesday, January 27, 2016  Notion of Representative Democracy o Ideologies  Sets of beliefs about politics and society that hep people make sense of their world  Conservatives  People who favor limited government and are cautious about change  Liberals  People who favor government action and view change as progress  Economic dimension  Conservatives prefer little government involvement in economy  Liberals see a positive government role  Social order dimension  Economic security has led americans to become more concerned with quality-of-life and moral issues  Divisions over limited versus more active government control of individual lives  Relationship between dimensions  2 dimensions dont dovetail neatly, create different mixes of ideological groups o Economic liberals o Social liberals o Economic conservatives o Social conservatives o Libertarians o Communitarians  Where do we come from? o American citizen if:  Born in united states whether born not parents are citizens  Jus soli: “the right of the soil” o Born to Americans abroad  Jus sanguinis: “the right by blood”  Immigration and Naturalization o Immigrants  Citizens or subjects of another country who move to another country to live or work o Naturalization  Legal process of acquiring citizenship for someone who ha not acquired it by birth  Naturalization Process  Applicants must pass an english and civics test  Is possible to become naturalized without speaking english  For the civics test there is a study guide of 100 questions on US history and politics  Applicants are given 10 random questions from this guide and must get 6 correct to pass o Non-Immigrants  Many come to US without legal permanent residency, and are called nonimmigrants, categories:  Those seeking asylum  Protection or sanctuary especially from political persecution  Refugees  Individuals who flee an area or a country because of persecution on the basis of race, nationally, religion, group membership or political opinion  Nonpermanent resident students, workers, visitors  Undocumented immigrants and avoid us citizenship and immigrations services regulations  Some obey laws, pay taxes, but strain resources  Others don’t  US Immigration Policy o Control immigration for numerous reasons including a preference for admitting only those blue to help the uS o Have historically limited the immigration of some groups o Policy controlled by Department of Homeland Security (DHS)… heavily influenced by recent events and trends:  Post 9/11 security worries  Illegal immigration through Mexican borders o Many states are independently adopting strict immigration laws  Arizona (anyone can stop someone and ask for their papers if they believe they are not legal)  Notion of a Representative Democracy o Social Contract Theory  Society is based on an agreement between government and the governed in which people agree to give up some rights in exchange for the protection of others  John Locke (1632-1794)  Legitimate government requires that people consent to it and if government breaks contract people may form new one  Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)  Government did not exist due to divine right instead people agree to be governed for there own protection  Popular Sovereignty  The doctrine that sovereign power is vested in the people and that those chose to govern, as trustees of power, must exercise it in conformity with the general will  Citizen Control Over Representatives  In American republic citizens have considerable control over leaders especially in comparison with dictatorial regime around the globe  In many societies, political power is based on who has biggest army  In US political battles are generally fought with ballots not bullets, through political process not violence and intimidation  American political system has series of checks and balances built into it that helps to prevent or redress abuses of power  Checks and balances provide some control over elected leaders  Citizens also can and do vote corrupt politicians out of office  Presidents, governors, judges have been impeached  Direct Democracy o Forms of this in US that have become popular in 20th century (especially towards end) o State and local governments use initiatives or referendums on their ballot during local elections  Popular as a way for elected representatives to avoid responsibility for necessary actions that the voters would punish them for o Referendum  Specific election questions placed on the ballot for the voters approval by the state or local government  An issue that is referred to the people o Initiative  Specific election questions placed on the ballot by citizen petition  Begin with the people o American Government Basics  Congress made up of  House of Representatives  Senate  More seats = majority party  Fewer seats = minority party  President and both chambers of congress controlled by same party = unified government  President and at least one of chamber of congress by different parties = divided government  Each state has 2 senators and a number of representatives based on population  OH Rob Portman (R) and Sherrod Brown (D)  Speaker of House is major leader of house majority party  Paul Ryan (R- WI)  House Majority Leader is the second in charge of party in house  Kevin McCarthy (R- CA)  House Minority Leader is the major leader of house minority party  Nancy Pelosi (D- CA)  Senate Majority Leader is major leader of majority party in senate  Mitch McConnell (R- KY)  Senate Minority Leader is the major leader of senate minority party  Harry Reid (D- NV) o Basics of American government  President  Barack Obama 44th president  Vice President  Joe Biden 47th vice president  15 cabinet departments  Supreme court  9 justices  Headed by chief justice  John Roberts ▯ ▯


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