POL326, Lecture 5
Oct 8, 2013
Metaconcious knowledge - deeply engraved beliefs.
Public opinion which changes on particular topics, and ideology,
• Political culture is the most resistant to change
• the nature of political culture is resistant, but that doesn’t mean it cannot change
• The US is in decline as a power
Relevant Chapter of textbook
• The historical context ofAmerican Foreign Policy
• important that we understand the details of the entity that we are trying to understand.
• important to understand the context in which these institutions emerged and how they were
designed to function
• we must situate american foreign policy into its historical and global context
• acknowledge the US had its origins as a colony of several European powers
• in order to understand the US we have to understand the colonialism that created it
• the beginning of colonialism in the Western hemisphere in 1492 when the natives of the
Caribbean discovered columbus’ships on their shore and transformed by that experience.
• search by European power holders in search for places rich enough the exploit and weak
enough to conquer
• Portugal, successive, started inAfrica. But they didn’t find much gold, spices, or tea that
was of interest. HOWEVER, they did find these inAsia, rich enough to exploit, but not
weak enough to conquer.
• InAsia, colonialism had its relation is trade relations.
• Portuguese and Spanish hit the jack pot, where they found regions rich enough to
exploit and weak enough to conquer because (Jared Diamond) they were dirty. What he
meant was that European standards of hygiene were lower. There were much more
crowded and large cities which lacked sewage. Europeans had much more resistance to
disease because of this compared to the western hemisphere. There were no
domesticated animals, so that was very limited.
• Somewhere between 85-95% of the Western population dropped dead when in contact
to the European settlers.
• Portuguese and Spanish used this as a blank slate. Marx would’ve called it an
accumulative. They facilitated a lavish lifestyle
• Western Europe industrialized on the demand of their goods from Portugal and Spain.
• Portuguese and Spanish colonialism entered a new phase with the completion of the
• NorthAmerica was difference, the Portuguese and Spanish were not as interested because of
the lack of gold. POL326, Lecture 5
Oct 8, 2013
• French and the British that played the dominant role in colonizing north america, they faced
• evidence seemed to indicate that rather than converting the blank slate, they encountered
well established agricultural holdings that they did not have to convert to a significant
• north america was far less interesting than south america.
• Rift that ran throughAmerican history emerged in that environment, the British possession
in NorthAmerica of Jamestown
• gave rise to different types of communities, Southern: the production of goods that could
not be done in Western Europe. Importation of slaves.
• Northern: attracted to British for its enormous supply of wood, the British islands were
deforested for the British army
• main attraction of the northern part of US was to deal with the domestic British problems:
free settlement with the teaching of the Bible.
• (1) confronts us with one of the dominant