POL 150C1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Emancipation Proclamation, Glossary Of Dune Terminology, Centrism

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POL 150: Politics of Happiness - Lecture 2: The American Dream
The American Dream
Individual, property rights
Alternative Interpretations of ‘The American Dream’
Readings: Dec of Independence, Constitution, Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln;s
2nd inaugural, FDR’s economic bill of rights, MLK’s I have a dream, LBJ’s “American
Promise”, E.J. Dionne, “our divided political heart”, ben franklin’s “autobiography”,
defending & condemning slavery: stringfellow & fitzhugh vs garrison & douglass
BBC country profile for USA
ibook ch. 2
“Pursuit of happiness is a very old American concept first revealed in the Dec. of
Independence.
Notion of happiness in the U.S. as with the rest of the world is not static and is dynamic
and ever shifting.
The “American Dream" is complex, multifaceted, and subject to various interpretations.
Utility of challenging our traditional (unconsidered) views of the “American Dream”
A critical review will provide:
A deeper insight into the ideological underpinnings of the “American Dream”
Understanding of different points of view on the “American Dream,” facilitating a
more collegial discussion in the future.
Our ability to juxtapose the “American Dream” with the “European Dream” and
other perspectives
American values with experience:
○ Pragmatism
○ Centrism
○ Moderation
Individualism (individual identity)
Character (nature) over ideas
Entrepreneurship & material interest (over ideas); property
Minimal intellectualism
“American mindlessness”
Escape dominance of religious institutions in a secular republic
Embrace laws without rigid religiosity.
America as a product of the Enlightenment:
Primacy of Reason and respect testimony of nature
Science and intellectualism
Puritan Heritage:
Against church of England and monarchy
Personal Biblical interpretation
Individual and corporate conformity to Bible
Minimal decoration, simplicity of worship and emphasis on preaching
“The Great Convention”: Puritanism & Englightenment
Reason + Religiosity
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