POLS 2311: Chapter 1 Notes
POLS 2311: Chapter 1 Notes Pols 2311
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kyanna Richard on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Pols 2311 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Dr. Mark Cichock in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 164 views.
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Date Created: 09/07/16
Political Science 2311 Chapter 1: Democracy and American Politics Robert Moses the Struggle for African American Voting Rights 30 years from adoption of constitution. African Americans in the south were not able to vote in any numbers until after 1965, despite the 15 amendment. No blacks held office Economic pressures, violence, social order kept blacks from registering to vote. Fanny Lou Hamer was forced out of her house she rented, fired from job, arrested, jailed and beaten by police after trying to register to vote. Women were allowed to vote in 1920 1820yearolds were allowed to vote in 1971 In 1960 only 5% of blacks were registered to vote The Student NonViolent Coordinating (SNCC) launched its Voter Education Project in 1961 with the aim of ending black political powerlessness in the Deep South SNCC worked to increase black voter’s registration such as challenging exclusionary rules like poll tax and literacy tests “Freedom Schools” where blacks could be educated about their rights. 1965 Voters Rights Act Provided powerful federal government protections for all Americans wishing to exercise their right to vote. Democracy 1.1 Without government we begin to ask… 1. Who is to govern? 2. How are those who govern to be encouraged to serve the best interests of society? 3. How can governments be induced to make policies and laws that citizens consider legitimate and worth obeying? 4. How can citizens ensure that those who govern both carry out laws and policies that people want and do so effectively? 5. What is the best for the government? … and for most Americans that answer is DEMOCRACY! What are some of the beliefs of democracy? 1. Some believe that is best protects human rights because it’s the only one based on a recognition of the intrinsic worth and equality of human beings. 2. Most likely to produce rational policies because it can count on the pooled knowledge and expertise of a society’s entire population. 3. More stable and long lasting because their leaders elected by and answerable to voters, enjoy a strong sense of legitimacy among citizens. 4. Most conductive to economic growth and material wellbeing, a claim with some scholarly support. 5. Under which human beings because they are free, are best able to develop their natural capacities and talents. DEMOCRATIC ORIGINS Democracy originated with ancient Greeks. Demos meaning “the people” and kratein meaning “to rule” Government must serve all its people Democracy a system of government in which the people rule. Oligarchy rule by the few Monarchy rule by the one (King and/or Queen) DIRECT DEMOCRACY V REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY Internet, social medias, mobile devices enable people to more easily gather info deliberate with others about important issues, organize political meetings and demonstrations and directly communicate their interests and demands to political leaders at all levels of government Direct Democracy a form of political decision making in which policies are decided by the people themselves. Representative Democracy indirect democracy; people rule through elected representatives who make the decisions. BENCHMARKS OF REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY What are the three benchmarks? 1. Popular Sovereignty 2. Political Equality 3. Political Liberty POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY Popular Sovereignty basic principle of democracy that the people are the ultimate source of government authority and of the policies that governments leaders make. 1. GOVERNMENT LEADERS ARE SELECTED IN COMPETITIVE ELCTIONS Autocracy general term that describes all forms of government characterized by rule by a single person or by a group with total power, whether a monarchy, a military tyranny, or a theocracy. 2. ELECTIONS ARE FREE AND FAIR “Free” no coercion of voters or election officials that virtually all citizens are able to run for office and vote in elections. “Fair” election rules do not favor some over others and that ballots are accurately counted. 3. PEOPLE PARTICIPATE IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS If elections and other forms of political participation only attract a minority of the eligible population, they cannot serve as a way to understand what the broad public wants or as an instrument forcing leaders to pay attention to it. Wide spread participation in politicsvoting in election, contacting public officials, working with others to bring matters to public attention, joining associations that work to shape government actions. Widespread participation is so central to Popular Sovereignty we can say that the less participation the is in a society; the weaker democracy. 4. HIGH QUALITY INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE 5. THE MAJORITY RULES Majority Rules the form of political decision making in which policies are decided on a basis of what a majority of the people want. 6. GOVERNMENT POLICIES REFLECT THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE 7. GOVERNMENT POLICIES ARE EFFECTIVE POLITICAL EQUALITY Political Equality the principle that each person carries equal weight in the conduct of the public business; voting and other political decision making Civil Rights guarantees by government of equal citizenship to all social groups. Democracy is a way of making decisions in which each person has one vote. 14 amendment “equal protection” meaning EVERYONE in democracy is treated the same by the government. POLTICAL LIBERTY Political Liberty basic freedoms essential to the formation and expression of majority opinion and its translation into public policies. (right to vote) Social Contract the idea that government is the result of an agreement among people to form one and that people have the right to create an entirely new government if the terms of the contract have been violated by the existing one. Popular sovereignty cannot be guaranteed if people are prevented from participating in politics or if opposition to the government is crushed by the authorities Popular sovereignty cannot prevail is the voice of people is silenced, are not free to argue and debate based on their own ideas and beliefs to from their own political opinion. The concept of selfgovernment implies ones right to speak their minds. OBEJECTIONS TO LIBERAL DEMOCRACY Liberal Democracy representative democracy characterized by popular sovereignty liberty, and political equality. “MAJORITY TYRANNY” THREATENS LIBERTY “Popular Passions” freedom of groups who have heard to be different Liberty is essential to selfgovernment and threatens to liberty whatever their origins, must be guarded against by all who value democracy. Majority Tyranny suppression of the rights and liberties of a minority by the majority. 1. THE PEOPLE ARE IRRATIONAL AND INCOMPETENT People not interested in politics or being a part of the process 2. MAJORITARIAN DEMOCRACY THREATENS MINORITES Requires the protection of crucial minority rights. FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING HOW AMERICAN POLITICS WORKS 1.2 ORGANIZING THE MAIN FACTORS OF POLITICAL LIFE What are the four main categories in National Government? 1. Structure: economy, society, political culture, international system, constitutional rules 2. Political Linkage: public opinion, news media, interest groups, elections, political parties 3. Government: president, congress, supreme court, bureaucracy 4. Government Action: what government does, making laws, issuing rules and regulations, waging war and providing national defense CONNECTIING THE MAIN FACTORS OF POLITICAL LIFE Jim Crow Popular term for the system of legally sanctioned racial segregation that existed in the th American south until the middle of the 20 century.
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