Chapter 1.docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Rhode Island
Political Science
PSC 113

Chapter 1: Gateways to American Democracy  American democracy achieved many successes through citizen involvement o Nations and institutions are stable  Holds oldest written constitution o Government has gone through severe economic crises, a civil war, and two world wars but still remains in peaceful transitions of power o Attract immigrants giving many a gateway to citizenship o Commitment to civic duties o More tolerance for different political views  Success doesn’t mean lack of problems o Racial tensions o Gap between rich and poor  Increasing poverty o Low trust in government o Low turnout in elections o Immigration reform policy continues to fail o Political polarization continues to increase o US national debt is still growing  More than $15 trillion Democracy and the American Constitutional System  People aspire for democracy Liberty and Order  Democracy: rule by the people; self-government o Associated with mob rule  No order if mob rule  Majority rule: rule by majority  Rule of law: could prevent mob rule o Keep political or popular majority under control o Not trample majority rights o All are subject to the law (no one is above it) The Constitution as Gatekeeper  Constitution allows and limits access to power simultaneously  Framers: people who were involved in writing the Constitution  Founders drew on Hobbes and Locke in perceiving the relationship between the government and governed o Social contract: government has only the authority accorded it by the consent of the governed  Natural or unalienable rights: rights so fundamental the government can’t take them away o Right to life, liberty, and property  Direct democracy: people govern themselves  Representative democracy: people elect representatives who govern in their name o Called a republic  Factions: any group who places own interests above interests of society  Most enduring source: various and unequal distribution of property  Pure democracy: people rule directly o Look at what only they want, not society as a whole  Balance, control, order are important to framers as much as liberty  Set up a way to block government from becoming too powerful  Three different branches of government o Executive  President (bureaucracy)  Executes laws o Legislative  Congress  Makes laws o Judicial  Supreme and Federal courts  Interprets laws  Vertical division of powers call Separation of Powers  Checks and balances: each branch has some power of the other two o Minimizes one branch being too strong  Federalism: arrangement of national and state government o Horizontal division American Political Culture  Politics: process by which competing interests determine who gets what, when, and how  Political ideology: coherent way of thinking about government  Party identification: psychological attachment to a particular party  Liberals favor government efforts to increase equality o Higher taxes on wealthy o Greater social benefits  Healthcare  Unemployment insurance  Welfare payments  Conservatives like lower taxes and prompt greater economic growth o Be
More Less

Related notes for PSC 113

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.