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Consider : Is America the “best” country, or somehow different or better than other nations?. American Political Culture. AP Government and Politics Chapter 4: Wilson. Homework: Assignment 2 for Monday; Collaborize for Monday . American political culture. What is “political culture?”

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american political culture

Consider: Is America the “best” country, or somehow different or better than other nations?

American Political Culture

AP Government and Politics

Chapter 4: Wilson

  • Homework:
  • Assignment 2 for Monday; Collaborize for Monday
american political culture1
American political culture
  • What is “political culture?”
  • What are the unique aspects of American political culture?
    • Liberty
    • Equality
    • Democracy
    • The Rule of Law
    • Individualism (unity?)
    • Diversity
    • Capitalism?
  • How are these reflected in our belief about the economic system?
  • What questions must we ask about American political culture?
    • How do we know?
    • Why the contradiction between beliefs and actions?
    • If we all agree, why political conflict?
american ism
  • “In Europe, nationality is related to community, and thus one cannot become un-English or un-Swedish. Being an American, however, is an ideological commitment. It is not a matter of birth. Those who reject American values are ‘un-American’”.
    • Seymour Martin Lipset, in American Exceptionalism, A Double-Edged Sword
american exceptionalism
American Exceptionalism
  • “The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes, of which I have only been able to point out the most important, have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. His passions, his wants, his education, and everything about him seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward; his religion alone bids him turn, from time to time, a transient and distracted glance to heaven. Let us cease, then, to view all democratic nations under the example of the American people” – deTocqueville, Democracy in America
  • And when asked specifically by a British journalist in 2009 whether he believes in American Exceptionalism, Obama replied thusly: "I believe in American Exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."
american political culture2

Consider: Do Americans trust their government? Why or why not?

American Political Culture

AP Government and Politics

Chapter 4: Wilson

  • Homework: Assignment 3 for Tuesday
political culture trust efficacy and tolerance
Political Culture: Trust, Efficacy and Tolerance
  • How can we determine where we are as Americans in terms of our:
    • Trust in government?
      • What is the general trend?
    • Feelings of efficacy?
      • Internal vs. External
    • Tolerance of others?
      • What conclusion does Wilson draw about our tolerance for ideas we disagree with?
the sources of american political culture
The sources of American political culture
  • Where do most Americans learn what it means to be an “American”?
    • What has taken the place of the family in many cases?
  • How did our history influence the development of our unique PC?
    • Protection of Rights
    • Distrust of authority
    • Peaceful transitions of power
    • Religious diversity/separation from government
if we share a common political culture why so much political conflict
If we share a common political culture, why so much political conflict?
  • Culture war?
    • Progressives vs. Orthodox – main perspectives
    • Too simplistic?
  • What major changes have helped to fuel this culture war?