Politicalculture

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Politicalculture

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

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