A skepticism about government and its abilities has always been a key component of American politica

A skepticism about government and its abilities has always been a key component of American politica

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A skepticism about government and its abilities has always been a key component of  American political culture. From the founding of the republic, Americans worried about  excessive governmental power, choosing instead to put their faith in individuals and  private groups. French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, for example, pointed out that  Americans are far more likely than other peoples to join together to solve a problem in  his two-volume book  Democracy in America  (1835, 1840). Many people have seen and continue to see the government as a necessary evil,  something that is not good in itself but is needed to protect people. James Madison,  writing in  Federalist Paper No. 51  (1787), stated that government is only needed  because people sometimes mistreat one another and act in their own self-interest to the  detriment of others. Since the 1960s, opinion of government has deteriorated even 
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This note was uploaded on 12/12/2011 for the course POSI 1310 taught by Professor Arnold during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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