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    Politicalculture Politicalculture Presentation Transcript

    • Andrew Martin University of Kentucky American Political Culture
    • What is political culture?
      • Political culture is a collection of beliefs and values about government.
    • Misconceptions about American Culture
      • John Jay wrote in Federalist No. 2 that Americans were “one united people; a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language.”
    • Religious diversity
      • Not all early Americans had same religious affiliations:
      • New England – Puritans
      • Virginia – Church of England
      • Maryland – Catholics
      • Pennsylvania – Quakers
    • Ethnic diversity
      • As of 1763, only 50 percent of the colonial population was English.
      • 20 percent was African-American
      • Others groups were Dutch, French, Spanish, German, Scandinavian, Belgian and Swiss.
    • U.S. Immigration Source: Fiorina, Peterson, Voss (2004)
    • U.S. Immigration
      • An immigration law passed in 1917 required a literacy test that favored English speakers.
      • Series of laws passed during the 1920s restricted immigration, explicitly favored immigrants from Northern, Western Europe.
      • 35 million immigrated to U.S. by the 1920s
    • Immigration Today
      • Immigrants are competing with citizens for scarce lower-skilled jobs.
      • Different levels of government share burdens and benefits differently
      • More immigration adds to environmental problems
      • Favored immigrants more likely to “become a public charge”
    • Source: Textbook, p. 20
    • American Political Culture
      • If the United States is marred by religious and ethnic differences, what holds the country together?
    • American Political Culture
      • Ethnicity and religion do not define American political culture.
      • American political culture is defined by a set of shared ideas concerning how a society should be governed.
      • These ideas are usually described as “individualist”
    • American Political Culture
      • Classical liberalism is a belief in freedom, individualism, equality, and small government
      • Civic republicanism argues that freedom comes from community members working together for the public god, not individuals.
        • Modern term is communitarianism
    • Liberty vs. Equality
      • Sometimes liberty and equality clash.
      • On both social and economic issues, Americans must choose whether they want equality of opportunity or equality of results .
      • Americans support equality of opportunity perhaps to a greater extent than any other country.
    • Liberty vs. Equality
      • Contributing economic events:
        • The Industrial Revolution
        • The Great Depression
      • Contributing social events:
        • The Civil War
        • The Civil Rights Struggle
    • Capitalism vs. Socialism
      • The United States has a capitalist economic system, meaning individuals control own the means of production and the distribution of goods.
      • In socialist systems, the government owns and controls key sectors of the economy, such as health care, transportation and heavy industry.
    • Taxes Source: Fiorina, Peterson, Voss (2004)
    • Individual Responsibility Source: Fiorina, Peterson, Voss (2004)
    • Individual Responsibility Source: Fiorina, Peterson, Voss (2004)
    • Individual Responsibility Source: Fiorina, Peterson, Voss (2004)
    • Individual Responsibility Source: Fiorina, Peterson, Voss (2004)
    • What is ideology?
      • Ideologies are systems of beliefs where one or more organizing principles inform an individual's views on a range of issues.
    • Ideology
      • Two kinds of ideology:
        • Total ideology
        • Particular ideology
    • Ideology
      • The total ideology most Americans adhere to is a Liberal political philosophy.
        • Emphasizes freedom, fairness and individuality
        • This is not the same as modern liberalism
      • Some Americans also endorse to a particular political philosophy
        • liberalism (in the modern sense)
        • conservatism
        • libertarianism
    • Libertarianism
      • Libertarianism is most similar to the total ideology of Liberalism.
        • Individualism is central. Government generally stays out of both social and economic issues.
        • Small government that does little to regulate society and the economy is ideal.
    • Liberalism
      • Liberals support an active government respecting economic issues but not social issues.
        • Supports economic regulation and government programs meant to reduce inequality
        • Opposes attempts to legislate morality (e.g. gay marriage, abortion)
    • Conservatives
      • Conservatives support an active government respecting social issues but not economic issues.
        • Traditional morality, law and order
        • Laissez-faire economics
        • (Oppose regulation of business, gun industry)