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September 16, 2010
What evidence supports your claim? How do I know that it’s true?
American political development: aspect of the study of state by studying history, how
did they develop historically?
Understand the structure of American political institutions, why and how these
institutions change, the key political forces shape American institutions and how do
they shape political life, ways political scientists approach American politics
What is Political Culture?
Beliefs about the proper role/function of government
The sources of political culture: political theory (impact was not direct, ex: can’t
understand the Soviet union without understanding Marx), experience and
tradition, religion (dynamic character, changing, growing, new religions)
American political culture: not a common set of belief s, but a series of re-occurring
conflicts rooted in conflicting beliefs
American Political Culture
Multiple Traditions: Liberalism (John Locke, the state of nature and the Social
Contract; liberalism and government: popular consent and the right of revolution;
the rule of law, the separation of powers, and natural rights; the liberal social order:
individualism and economic growth), Republicanism (democracy, participation and
localism; identity, community, patriotism; anti-elitism/egalitarianism),
Progressivism ( late 19th century/early 20th century, key claim: changed social
conditions require new political forms/new political goals, the power of government
must expand, rights and constitutionalism must be reconfigured) , Ascriptive
Hierarchy (status/rights should be determined by a predetermined factor e.g. race,
ethnicity, sex, religion; a tradition that overlaps with liberalism, republicanism, and
Liberalism and American Political Development
The Constitution of 1787 (to make government inefficient) and the Bill of Rights
Judicial Review and the Rule of Law
The Civil War and the Civil War Amendments
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