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POLS 2200 (19)
Lois King (1)
Chapter 3

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Political Science
POLS 2200
Lois King

Chapter 1 Lecture Notes This is a course in the government of the United States of AmericaEssentially what we are and will be discussing is a political systemIt was created over 220 years ago and has endured despite considerable hardships at times within the country as well as many cultural changesThere are many things to discuss to understand this system that somehow governs approximately 300 million people and many questions to answerWhat is politicsWhat is governmentWhat is this thing called America and how is it held togetherThese are just a few of the questions we must try to answer this semesterI try to teach this course in a very practical mannerIt is hoped that you will leave here with something more than just a few definitions of what some of these concepts are and that this course will prepare you to become inquisitive citizens within our societyMy ultimate goal is to offer some insights into how it meaning our government our politics our constant adjusting to different aspects of our life all comes togetherBut first we must start with some basic definitions in order to lay the groundwork for later understanding of this complex systemPolitical Thinking and Political ScienceThe author of your textbook has completely rewritten the first chapter of your textbook placing more emphasis on a descriptive dialogue of what he hopes to achieve with this bookIn this approach he attempts to reach out to younger citizens of our country and explain the necessity of studying government and politicsIt seems that he has become increasing concerned about the involvement of young people in our system of governmentPersonally I am not quite as pessimistic as he is especially in light of the results of our most recent election and the significant impact that young voters had in the reelection of President ObamaStill I do believe he makes a strong case for the necessity of involvementThe first major concept he covers is what he refers to as political thinking which he states involves the careful gathering and sifting of information in the process of forming a knowledgeable view about a political issueHe emphasizes that this enables citizens to act responsiblyNo matter how we may feel about government and political issues what is at the heart of our system of government is citizen involvement especially in a civil discourse on the way we wish to settle the issuesDemocracy is not an easy form of governmentIt places significant demands on its citizensWhat it gives us in return is unparalleled freedomThe second thing that the author introduces us to is political science which he describes as the systematic study of government and politicsThrough the use of this and the analytical tools it provides p 8 in your text it allows the citizen to delve more deeply into political developments than would otherwise be possibleHopefully as a trained political scientist I will be able to help you obtain insight into politics and how our system of government functions 1
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