Intro to American Govt & Politics
Intro to American Govt & Politics Pols 1101
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Stephanie Argueta on Tuesday September 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Pols 1101 at Georgia State University taught by Richard G. Gardiner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 61 views. For similar materials see AMERICAN GOVRNMENT in Political Science at Georgia State University.
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Date Created: 09/06/16
First off, thank you soo much for checking out my notes! This opportunity helps me and you to know how to a) improve our study skills and b) understand what the heck we’re doing in this class . If you ever want to come talk to me about study sessions or just introduce yourself to me, I sit in the second row on the left side of the room. I think this email would show my face, but in case it doesn’t I’ll add a selfie. Here are some key things to help understand my notes better: o Anything bolded are important facts to remember, especially if an exam will have any written responses. o Anything highlighted are key terms you’ll also want to keep in mind o The notes are in order from the textbook, including info from the study quizzes (they’ll help a lot) I hope this helps you as much as they do for me! Please contact me if there is any confusions or advice you’d like to give me (I’m open to any ideas that’ll help). Thank you again! Stephanie Argueta P.S: These are note samples from both chapter 2 and 3, I’m currently working on 4 (: Intro to the American Way of Government 1. Americans’ belief about the proper role of government a. Ideology: beliefs of the proper role of government. i. Americans are divided of ideological grounds due to disagreements on the proper role of government • Founders of American believed in natural rights, which are moral rights in a state of nature before the creation of a “government”. • So what’s the difference between legal rights and natural rights? o Legal rights are written, human made laws that secure natural rights. § So legal rights would protect life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness (w/o interference of others of course), and property. • the gov’t can also threaten our rights as negative incentives to not hurt another’s rights (ex: criminals get jailed or deprived of liberty) • But our gov’t is a limited government, in which we (the people) can have some control over it w/o overthrowing or pose a risk to our rights. (that’s why we take this class) • Socioeconomic rights are social/economic services/benefits that gov’t or private employers provides • People believe that the gov’t should promote happiness and welfare of people, but disagree on how they should do it, such as prayers in schools, universal health care b. What Americans think was illegitimate purpose for gov’t: i. Theocracy. Gov’t cannot establish a religious gov’t or promote it. And also not interfere with free exercise of religion unless it threatens the rights/freedom of others. 2 ii. Racial supremacy. Unless it’s 1950 or earlier, it is not a legit reason for the U.S gov’t iii. State socialism. Think how socialist economy works: literally the gov’t controls everything in the economic activity and means of production (AKA capital) 2. The American form of a Constitutional Government • All gov’t officials and citizens are bound by the rule of law : gov’t actions must be authorized by pre- existing laws and law makers cannot exempt themselves from this. • The U.S constitutional is the fundamental law (supreme law). Statutes (ordinary laws) are unlawful if it contradicts the constitution. • Sham constitutions: documents that state laws but the gov’t doesn’t follow them. o ex: North Korea’s “democracy” i. So why do Americans loovee a limited constitutional government? o It is adequately empowered so it can protect natural rights and provide public goods o Controlled enough so that it doesn’t threaten those rights. ii. They also love a democratic government 3. How YOU are able to exercise control over the government a. Elect who serves in gov’t by: i. Run for office ii. Vote in elections iii. Openly advocate a candidate iv. Work/ donate to a campaign OR a political party b. Seek to influence behavior of those serving in office by: i. Directly voice your views/needs 3 ii. Work/donate to a group who lobbies (effective) iii. Serve in a jury (most effective) iv. Sue gov’t if you feel that your rights are threatened by them OR denied gov’t benefit that you were entitled to c. Work outside the democratic process by: i. Engage in activities to create changes (ex: civil disobedience) 4 Chapter 3: Intro of American Politics 1. What is Politics? o Set of non-violent, open and free activities in which people do under a stable government o Why politics? § Ideological disagreements occur within our gov’t system due to the different views on how limited the gov’t should be, what rights we have, and policies that’ll be the most effective The Liberal – Conservative Ideological Spectrum: Extremely Liberal slightly liberal Slightly Conservative Extreme Liberal Moderate Conservative Issue Liberals Conservatives Regulating the Concerned Optimistic on economy w/protecting the stability, productivity, environment & safety fairness & safety w/o of workers/ gov’t regulation consumers (more concerned w/ business and large corp Programs promoting Support expanding Does not support economic security, role of gov’t in socioeconomic welfare & equality economic security rights, redistribution of wealth or assist in low-income Americans 5 Promoting Social Support equal social Support the Equality status of minority, traditional values women, and LGBT and role of white men and heterosexuals Traditional Moral Oppose: laws of Support policies that Value prayer in schools, preserve the moral laws that ban values essential for abortion, drugs, social order pornography, and LGBT Law enforcement & More check-ups on More leeway or less criminal justice police force (ex: check-ups on police body cams) and and support “Law & oppose death Order” policies such penalty & long prison as death penalties sentences and long prison sentences 2. Models of American Politics a. Majoritarism: opinions & Interest of Americans tend to prevail in struggle of power of the gov’t b. Elite theory: Group of wealthy Americans who actually rule America (about 3000) c. Pluralism: a collection of majorities that are affected by public policies who can create organized interest groups and exert influence over policies that affect them the most d. Biased Pluralism: union elites control values/interest 6
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