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POSI 2310 Chapter 1

by: Marissa

POSI 2310 Chapter 1 2310

Texas State
GPA 3.3
Principles of American Government
Joshua Quinn

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Hi everyone, here are my notes for Chapter 1: Political Thinking and Political Culture. Hope they are helpful.
Principles of American Government
Joshua Quinn
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Marissa on Tuesday September 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 2310 at Texas State University taught by Joshua Quinn in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see Principles of American Government in Political Science at Texas State University.

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Date Created: 09/01/15
Chapter 1 Political Thinking and Political Culture Becoming a Responsible Citizen I Learning to Think Politically a Culture i A collected history and practices of a society b Political thinking i Gathering information and thinking critically about political issues ii Information gathered from media other people iii Helps form knowledge about subjectissue iv Look where info is coming from Tabloids use flashy headlines to make sales c Responsible citizenship i Citizen receive protection and services for your allegiance ii In a democracy citizens elect leaders 1 Thinking politically makes better voters d Barriers to political thinking i Number one issue people unwilling to put in effort to be informed don t think its important ii Emergence of quotNew Media 1 Used to be hard to get media now easy access 2 Conglomerates control what people see 3 Self selection bias a People view the media they want to 4 Exposure bias a Seeing the same thing repetitively 5 Misinformation not accurate info iii Political spin 1 Make stories sound better faulty perceptions 2 Make a scandal sound not like a scandal iv Research shows faulty perceptions becoming more prevalent e How can political science help i Political science 1 Systematic study of government and politics a Policy implementation election cycles 2 Political scientists describe and analyze political events actors outcomes ii Better info leads to better thinking 1 Remembering Hitler prevents the event s from happening again iii Better political info can increase people s ability to think politically 1 Doesn t always make logical sense 2 Better representatives a Good understanding of what s going on 3 Informed voters a Fundamental in democracy 4 Better policy outcomes a People express their interests b If you want a change in education you have to raise taxes to pay for it Political Culture a Political culture i Roots in a nation s tradition 1 Religion climate local resources how it was founded ii Describes relationship between citizens and their government 1 North Korea relationship is nonexistent iii America was settled by white Europeans 1 Our roots b American core political values i Liberty 1 Belief that individuals should be able to act as they choose 2 Early US had vast areas of unsettled land so individual liberty was encourage through migration into these areas 3 Many settlers fled Europe to escape religious persecution a Quakers Puritans 4 Debates on limits to state and individual liberty 5 Negative vs Positive liberty a Negative liberty can accomplish on your own i Speaking your mind b Positive liberty things the government has to do i Education property ii Individualism 1 Individual is paramount government is secondary a Ideal in practice is fuzzy 2 Government s role is to serve quotthe people a Not an absolute some individual rights are taken away to help the people 3 Alexis de Tocqueville observed that Americans primary political goal is to quotremain their own master a This is why early settlers came here iii Equality 1 American equal treatment under the law vs the heritage of European aristocratic p vHege 2 Early American hypocrisy some people were free while some were enslaved a Jefferson had several children with one of his slaves loved that woman yet supported the institution of slavery 3 People still disagree on what equality means a Equal protection under the law b A convicted felon can t own a gun but didn t he serve his time in jail Does he no longer have individual right iv Selfgovernment 1 We have some control over what our government does 2 American colonials had huge amount of selfdetermination a Took weeks to arrive had to survive on their own 3 A belief that political legitimacy and power comes from the consent of the governed 4 This belief has substantially shaped the way our government looks a Democratic foundations b Citizen legislatures c America s enduring beliefs i Limits of America s ideals 1 America s cultural beliefs are idealistic a Left Europe and through selfselection only those with hardcore beliefs survived 2 Failures to meet the high ideals a Abolition and suffrage movements b Emancipation c Civil rights movement d Public education e Higher education I Politics and Power in America a Politics i means by which society settles its conflicts and allocates the resulting benefits and costs ii Without government private conflicts would ensue violence b Power i ability of persons groups or institutions to influence political developments ii power in US comes from money c Authoritarians and totalitarian governments i Nondemocratic repressive regime types ii Can t speak out against them d Democratic system i The people govern by direct or representative means 1 Indirect democracy in US electoral college ii Majority rule through the free and open election of representatives 1 Vote tampering in 60s iii Majoritarianism 1 Majority effectively determines what government does 2 Majority will vs minority right iv Pluralism 1 Preferences of special interests largely determine what government does 2 Multitude of views group can lobby government for particular issue v Authority 1 Recognized right of officials to exercise power vi Contrast with authoritarian government 1 Represses opposition through intimidation restriction of rights even imprisonment and physical abuse e Constitutional system i The Constitution elaborate checks and balances Bill of Rights 1 Prevent authoritarian ii Constitutionalism 1 Idea that there are lawful restrictions on government s power iii Restraints on majority power 1 Protect people with different opinions iv Judicial action channel through which ordinary citizens can exercise power f Free market system i Operates mainly on private transactions ii Some government intervention through regulatory taxing and spending policies 1 Taxing and spending to regulate and enforce policy iii Tax rate much lower in US than in European countries iv Corporate power 1 Influence firms have over policymakers a Lobbyists campaign financing v Elitism 1 Power exercised by the influential few g Who does govern i Defining characteristics of American politics widespread sharing of power ii Women and minorities initially excluded their power will steadily grow over time 1 More female elected officials judges CEOs appearing iii Larger electorate makes it more diverse


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