AP Gov Unit 2 - American Political Ideologies and Beliefs .pdf

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Chapter 4: American Political Culture Political Culture Constitutional differences could have been created because of different religions, languages spoken, population and religion Democracy may have worked well in America because of the abundance of land and opportunities Political culture - patterned and sustained way of thinking about how political and economic life ought to be carried Political System 1. Liberty - Americans believe they can really do anything with some exceptions as long as no one gets hurt 2. Democracy - Americans think government officials should be accountable to the people 3. Civic Duty - feel people ought to take community affairs seriously and help out when they can 4. Responsibility - individuals are responsible for their own actions and well-being Economic System More people are willing to tolerate economic inequality than political Earnings should be based on abilities and shouldn't have restrictions Specific economic policies change and many Americans believe that government should help needy and regulate business equal opportunities but not results Sources of Political Culture Adversarial spirit of American politics reflect preoccupation of rights and distrust in authority Government constructed upon putting trust into someone (maybe not your choosing) Class Consciousness - belief that one is a member of an economic group whose interests are opposed to people in other groups Religious diversity and family may lead to different views Culture War Many political issues recently include - gay rights, drug use, school prayer - which create two cultural classes fighting over values Fights over the legality of abortions, marijuana, school prayer Money is usually not at stake and compromises are nearly impossible Orthodox - belief that morality and religion ought to be of decisive importance Derive from commands of god or laws of nature and are clear and unchanging Includes Protestants and evangelical Christians Progressive - belief that personal freedom and solving social problems are more important than religion Includes Episcopalians and Unitarians
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Mistrust in Government More people put less trust in government to make the right call and has since been declining since the 1950s Only went up during the Reagan presidency and after 911 attacks Started declining because of 1. President Nixon and Watergate 2. President Clinton and sex scandals 3. President George W. Bush and Iraq War Slight increase because of 1. President Eisenhower winning against fascism 2. Extraordinary patriotic feeling in 2001 Civil Society Civil Society - voluntary action that makes cooperation easier Individualism creates more voluntary action creating trust More social capital greater trust easier to achieve goals
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Chapter 7: Public Opinion What is Public Opinion?
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