Political culture in the united states
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Political Culture in the United States. Applying the Principles of the Declaration of Independence. Major Themes of the Declaration of Independence. Self evident truths. We hold these truths to be self-evident. Human equality. All men are created equal.

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Political Culture in the United States

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Political culture in the united states

Political Culture in the United States

Applying the Principles of the Declaration of Independence


Major themes of the declaration of independence

Major Themes of the Declaration of Independence

Self evident truths

We hold these truths to be self-evident

Human equality

All men are created equal

They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights

  • Among these rights:

    • Life

    • Liberty

    • Pursuit of happiness

Natural rights

Purpose of gov’t

To secure rights

Measure of Justice

Consent of the governed

Whenever any form of gov’t is destructive of the security of natural rights

Right of revolution

  • Prudence:

    • Long-established gov’ts shouldn’t be overthrown for “light and transient causes”

  • Experience:

    • Men are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves

Limits to the

right of revolution


Political culture

Political Culture

  • A general set of Ideas, attitudes and beliefs

  • Shapes a region’s politics

  • Political Cultures in the US may identify with certain principles in the Declaration of Independence

  • Political culture sometimes confused with ideology

  • Most communities in the US participate in at least one of the following:

    • Traditionalism

    • Individualism

    • Moralism


Traditionalism

Traditionalism

Basic features

Associated region

Advantages

Disadvantages

Stability

Predictability

Laws and customs tend to remain constant

  • Strong attachment to long-established institutions

  • Preference for traditional ‘modes and orders’

  • Suspicion of change

  • Family legacies

The “Old South”:

South Carolina

North Carolina

Virginia

Tennessee

Georgia

Mississippi

Alabama

Louisiana

Texas

Inflexibility

Lack of social mobility

Tolerance of corruption in the public sector

Hostility to reform

Fatalism

Examples:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

“You can’t fight city hall.”

Uncontested elections

Political Dynasties (Bush, Thurmond, Moncrieff, Kennedy)


Individualism

Individualism

Basic features

Associated region

Advantages

Disadvantages

Opportunity

Privacy

Recognition of individual efforts

Accountability

  • Strong belief in self-reliance

  • Preference for individual and independent action; free enterprise

  • Suspicion of public institutions

  • Resistance to regulation

  • “The Self-Made Man”

The “Old West”:

Wyoming

Texas

Colorado

New Mexico

Arizona

Nevada

Montana

North Dakota

South Dakota

Isolation

Lack of community support

Intolerance of public sector involvement

Tolerance of corruption in the private sector, provided one isn’t caught

Examples:

“You’ll get my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands.”

“You’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.”

Entrepreneurs, independent contractors

“Caveat emptor”


Moralism

Moralism

Basic features

Associated region

Advantages

Disadvantages

Community

Accountability

Active social support structures

“safety nets”

  • Strong belief in community, “commonwealth”

  • Preference for formal community action

  • Suspicion of private institutions and interests

  • Strong regulatory presence

“New England”:

Massachusetts

New Hampshire

Connecticut

Maine

New York

Pennsylvania

Also prevalent in the Pacific NW and in capital cities

  • Intrusiveness

  • Tolerance of corruption in the public sector if it serves the “moral duty” of serving the commonwealth

  • Inaction unless initiated by community officials

  • High public debt; high taxes

Examples:

“Did you bring enough for everybody?”

“We’re from the government and we’re here to help you.”

Social Security, social welfare programs

Public education programs


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