30 Class Summary

30 Class Summary - Thomas Anderson HNRS 302-008H-2008S...

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Thomas Anderson HNRS 302-008H-2008S Week #3 1/30/2008 America the Unusual, (Kingdon 1999) In America the Unusual, John Kingdon uses the theory of path-dependence to explain the differences in ideology, institutions and public policies between America and the rest of the democratized world. Path-dependence theory argues that political context of early America put the country on a course that has continued to this day. The political context of early America was influenced by issues of opportunity, economic and social structure, immigration, isolation and localism. Kingdon argues that these influences on early America can still be seen in our institutions, policies and ideology. 1 The lecture on January 30 th closely followed the arguments of Kingdon’s book. Two groups of immigrants seized political power in America: those who came to this country to escape religious persecution and those who were looking for economic opportunity. Those who sought greater economic opportunity were primarily interested in providing for their families independently. Those who were escaping religious persecution had developed a mis-trust of government. It is in this way that migration influenced the development of American political culture. Localism was also present at the inception. America Began as 13 separate colonies and under the Constitution retained a great deal of power. The union between states and people is evident in the structure of bicameralism and the federal system. Kingdon points out that class conflict 1  Note: for Kingdon’s purposes, American Ideology does not constitute a dominant and hegemonic set of 
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course HNRS 302 taught by Professor Degregorio during the Spring '08 term at American.

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30 Class Summary - Thomas Anderson HNRS 302-008H-2008S...

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