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American Political Culture PowerPoint Presentation
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American Political Culture

American Political Culture

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American Political Culture

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  1. American Political Culture What it is? according to Patterson Where do we find it? in everyday life? in George Bush’s September 11th Anniversary Speech? in the values of Cornell students? in the Declaration of Independence? in the Constitution? [Not necessarily in this order.]

  2. Culture Defined • “The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought. • “These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty. • “These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture, [political culture].”

  3. Political Culture ala Patterson •liberty (freedom to act; personal autonomy) •equality (fair treatment and equal opportunity) •self-government (popular sovereignty; government of, by, for people) •individualism (self-sufficiency, material accumulation, private property, individual as foundation of society) •diversity (differences respected and legitimate basis of self-interest), and •unity (one people, indivisible union)

  4. Rules of the Game ala Paterson •democracy (people govern either directly or through representatives) responds to numbers--majoritarian •constitutionalism is a set of rules that restricts the lawful use of power (limits on the power of governments over citizens) responds to rights--minoritarian [Extraordinary emphasis on rights is a characteristic of American politics.] •capitalism (free enterprise and self-reliance) responds to wealth–plutocratic [Sharp distinction between the political and the economic realms is a characteristic of American politics.] [All three rules of the game are based on the free choice of free individuals--thus consistent with our core belief in individualism]

  5. Conclusion:“Politics in the United States is characterized by a number of major patterns.” • Political culture that binds people together • Extreme fragmentation of authority • Diversity and competing interests • Strong emphasis on individual rights • Sharp separation of political and economic spheres

  6. American Political Culture What it is? according to Patterson Where do we find it? in everyday life? in George Bush’s September 11th Anniversary Speech? in the values of Cornell students? in the Declaration of Independence? in the Constitution?

  7. Crazy for Freedom?

  8. Career Class Cornellian Denomination Ethnicity Family Individual Nationality Political party Race Religion Sex Sexual preference Social group State Student What would you hypothesize? Why?

  9. Political Culture @ Cornell November 2004

  10. Political Culture @ Cornell April 2004

  11. Political Culture @ Cornell February 2004

  12. American Political Culture What it is? according to Patterson Where do we find it? in everyday life? in George Bush’s September 11th Anniversary Speech? in the values of Cornell students? in the Declaration of Independence? in the Constitution?

  13. Tomorrow? • Founding Documents from the Perspective of Political Culture: • Declaration of Independence • Constitution • The American Constitution through the eyes of the Framers, focusing on Madison’s Federalist #10

  14. The American Constitution • James Madison’s Federalist #10 – possibly the most important essay in the history of American political philosophy and one that tells us a lot about the intent of the framers. Read with care; we'll take a close look at that text tomorrow. • the intent of the Framers