Political Socialization Essay

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Question Description

The Political Socialization Paper is designed for you to reflect on how you formed your opinions and what the influences are on your opinions. After reviewing the resources for this activity, analyze one candidate and one issue and determine where your political affiliations lie and how you achieved them.

Resources: Read and review the following resources for this activity: Chapters 1, 6 (review)

Complete the following to make writing your paper easier:

  • Make a short outline on who are your greatest personal influences and why.
  • Make a short outline on what institutions (school, church, political party, etc.) are influential to you and why.

Complete the following in your paper:

  • Use your outline of personal influences and institutions and describe their importance to your political socialization.
  • Take a candidate from a recent election and discuss why or why not you supported him or her ( state or national candidate).
  • Take an issue (local, state or national) and discuss why or why not you support it.
  • Reflect on how your personal and institutional influences affected your decision.
  • Draw upon your paper to form conclusions and opinions and back these up.
  • Length: 3 – 4 pages, so you need to carefully choose your words and be concise.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

1: Political Thinking and Political Culture Becoming a Responsible Citizen ©McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom. No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education. Learning to Think Politically • Political thinking: critical thinking focused on deciding what can reasonably be believed, and then using this information to make political judgments – Involves the careful gathering and sifting of information to form a knowledgeable view about a political issue – Important for responsible citizenship ©McGraw-Hill Education. Obstacles to Political Thinking • Main barrier: unwillingness of citizens to make the effort to self-inform • Changes in media consumption have meant more people consume biased cable television and Internet blogs • “Spin” is added by political leaders and government entities • Research shows faulty perceptions are becoming more prevalent ©McGraw-Hill Education. What Political Science Can Contribute to Political Thinking • Political science: the systematic study of government and politics – A descriptive and analytical discipline that can increase one’s ability to think politically • Analytical tools: – Reliable information about how the system operates – Systemic generalizations about major tendencies in American politics – Terms and concepts that precisely describe key aspects ©McGraw-Hill Education. Political Culture: Americans’ Enduring Beliefs • Political culture: the widely shared and deep-seated beliefs of a country’s people about politics – Derived from a country’s traditions – Defines the relationship between citizens and government • Americans’ core ideals are rooted in the European heritage of the first white settlers ©McGraw-Hill Education. A Nation of Immigrants Migrants make up a larger percentage of the population in the United States than they do in nearly every other country. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2016. Core Values: Liberty, Individualism, Equality, and Self-Government • Liberty: the principle that individuals should be free to act as they choose, provided they do not infringe unreasonably upon others – Unsettled land fostered freedom through migration – Many fled Europe to escape religious persecution ©McGraw-Hill Education. Core Values: Liberty, Individualism, Equality, and Self-Government (2) • Individualism: a commitment to personal initiative and self-sufficiency – Fostered by the unprecedented economic opportunities of the New World for those willing to work hard enough – Tocqueville: Americans’ chief aim is to “remain their own masters” ©McGraw-Hill Education. Core Values: Liberty, Individualism, Equality, and Self-Government (3) • Equality: the notion that all individuals are equal in their moral worth and thereby entitled to equal treatment under the law – Perplexing ideal in the early years of the nation, when some were free while others were enslaved – Differing opinions on the meaning of equality persist ©McGraw-Hill Education. Core Values: Liberty, Individualism, Equality, and Self-Government (4) • Self-government: the principle that the people are the ultimate source of governing authority and should have a voice in their governing – American colonials had substantial self-determination – Vision of a self-governing nation with “powers from the consent of the governed” ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Limits and Power of Americans’ Ideals • Americans’ cultural beliefs are idealistic • Failures to meet these high ideals: – Slavery – Post-slavery “Jim Crow” era – Racial immigration and property restrictions ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Limits and Power of Americans’ Ideals (2) • Equality has never been an American birthright – Slavery – Racial immigration restrictions – Limited voting rights • Continuing struggle to build a more equal society – Civil rights movements • Abolition and suffrage • Equal treatment for minorities, including the LGBTQ community – Public education – Higher education ©McGraw-Hill Education. A College Education Reflecting their belief in individualism and equality, Americans have developed the world’s largest college system—roughly 4,000 institutions. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Social Welfare Policy Americans’ cultural commitment to individualism leads a majority to rate the “freedom to pursue life’s goals” as more important than making sure that “nobody is in need.” ©McGraw-Hill Education. Source: Pew Research Center Global Attitudes & Trends survey, 2011. Politics and Power in America • Politics: the means by which society settles its conflicts and allocates the resulting benefits and costs • Power: the ability of persons, groups, or institutions to influence political developments • Authoritarian and totalitarian governments: nondemocratic, repressive regime types ©McGraw-Hill Education. A Democratic System • Democracy: a system in which the people govern, by direct or representative means – In practice, it has come to mean majority rule through the free and open election of representatives • Majoritarianism: the majority effectively determines what government does ©McGraw-Hill Education. A Democratic System (2) • Pluralism: the preferences of special interests largely determine what government does • Authority: the recognized right of officials to exercise power • In contrast, authoritarian governments repress opposition through intimidation, restriction of rights, and even imprisonment and physical abuse ©McGraw-Hill Education. A Constitutional System • Writers of the U.S. Constitution devised an elaborate system of checks and balances; and a Bill of Rights was added • Constitutionalism: the idea that there are lawful restrictions on government’s power – Restraints on the power of the majority • Legal action: the use of the courts as a means of asserting rights and interests – Channel through which ordinary citizens can exercise power ©McGraw-Hill Education. A Free-Market System • Free-market system: a system that operates mainly on private transactions – Some government intervention through regulatory, taxing, and spending policies • Tax rates are much lower in the U.S. than in European countries • Corporate power: the influence business firms have on public policy • Elitism: the power exercised by well-positioned and highly influential individuals ©McGraw-Hill Education. Table 1-1 Governing Systems and Political Power System Description and Implications Democratic A system of majority rule through elections; empowers majorities (majoritarianism), groups (pluralism), and officials (authority) Constitutional A system based on rule of law, including legal protections for individuals; empowers individuals by enabling them to claim their rights in court (legal action) Free market An economic system that centers on the transactions between private parties; empowers business firms (corporate power) and the wealthy (elitism) ©McGraw-Hill Education. Who Governs? • Defining characteristic of American politics is the widespread sharing of power • Women and minorities were initially excluded; but their power has steadily grown over time ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Text’s Organization • Constitutional system • Political role of citizens and intermediaries • Governing officials, elective institutions, and their appointive bodies • Focus on public policies throughout the book • Focus on the difficulty of governing effectively, and how important it is to try ©McGraw-Hill Education. Critical Thinking • Distinguish between political power (generally) and authority (as a special kind of political power). • Contrast the American political culture with that of most Western democracies. What in the American experience has led its people to derive their national identity from a set of shared political ideals? • Explain the types of power that result from each of America’s major systems of governing—democracy, constitutionalism, and a free market. ©McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom. No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education. 2: Constitutional Democracy Promoting Liberty and Self-Government ©McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom. No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education. Before the Constitution: The Colonial and Revolutionary Experiences • Americans’ British heritage – Colonial experiences with democratic institutions: English Parliament and colonial charters – “Rights of Englishmen,” including trial by jury • Repeal of the Stamp Act, a tax on colonial newspapers and business documents • Enactment of the Townshend Act, which included a tax on tea • First Continental Congress met in 1774 ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Declaration of Independence • Call to revolution that included the ideas of liberty, equality, individual rights, self-government, and lawful powers • Philosophy of John Locke – Inalienable (natural) rights: life, liberty, and property – Social contract: government has responsibility to preserve rights • Thomas Jefferson paraphrased Locke – “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”; “All men are created equal”; and governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed” ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Articles of Confederation • Adopted during the Revolutionary War – Not a constitution: a fundamental law that defines how a government will legitimately operate • Created a weak national government • Prohibited Congress from interfering in states’ commerce policies • Prohibited Congress from taxation • States retained “sovereignty, freedom, and independence” – Unanimous consent needed to approve amendments ©McGraw-Hill Education. A Nation Dissolving • Weakness of the national government raised fears, especially in the wake of Shays’ Rebellion – Farmers led by Daniel Shays fomented armed rebellion to prevent foreclosures on their land – Congress was unable to raise an army to quell the rebellion • Congress was motivated to authorize a convention in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation ©McGraw-Hill Education. Negotiating Toward a Constitution • At the constitutional convention in Philadelphia, the delegates ignored the instructions of Congress – Drafted a constitution that created an entirely new form of limited and representative government – Especially, a stronger central government would be put in place ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Great Compromise: A Two-Chamber Congress • Virginia Plan, or large state plan – Representation based on the size of a state’s population – Greater power to larger states • New Jersey Plan, or small state plan – Each state would have one vote – Equal power to large and small states • Great Compromise: a bicameral Congress – House of Representatives: proportional representation – Senate: equal representation ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Three-Fifths Compromise: Issues of Slavery and Trade • Congress agreed not to tax exports, only imports • Congress would be prohibited until 1808 from passing laws to end the slave trade • Three-Fifths Compromise: three-fifths of the enslaved population counted for apportionment of taxes and political representation – Northern delegates were against counting slaves because they didn’t have legal rights – Southern delegates were in favor of counting slaves, as this would afford the South more House seats, thus greater political power ©McGraw-Hill Education. Figure 2-1 African Americans as a Percentage of State Population, 1790 At the time of the writing of the Constitution, African Americans (most of whom were slaves) were concentrated in the southern states. Jump to long image description ©McGraw-Hill Education. Source: U.S. Census Bureau. A Strategy for Ratification • Delegates established their own ratification process – New Constitution would be submitted directly to the states for approval – It would become law if approved by at least nine ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Ratification Debate • Anti-Federalists: those who were against a strong national government – Raised arguments that still echo in American politics – National government would be too powerful – State self-government and personal liberty would be placed at risk • Federalists: proponents of the Constitution – The Federalist Papers, a series of essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, laid out a persuasive case ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Framers’ Goals • Government strong enough to meet the country’s needs • Government that would not threaten the existence of the separate states • Government that would not threaten liberty • Government based on popular consent ©McGraw-Hill Education. Table 2-1 Major Goals of the Framers of the Constitution 1. 2. 3. 4. A government strong enough to meet the nation’s needs—an objective sought through substantial grants of power to the federal government in areas such as defense and commerce (see Chapter 3) A government that would not threaten the existence of the separate states—an objective sought through federalism (see Chapter 3) and through a Congress tied to the states through elections A government that would not threaten liberty—an objective sought through an elaborate system of checks and balances A government based on popular consent—an objective sought through provisions for the direct and indirect election of public officials ©McGraw-Hill Education. Protecting Liberty: Limited Government • Framers sought a national government that could act decisively, but not act irresponsibly • They mistrusted unrestricted majority rule • Liberty was the governing ideal they sought most ©McGraw-Hill Education. Grants and Denials of Power • Grants of power: powers granted to the national government – Limit government by stating specific powers in the Constitution – Total of seventeen powers • Denials of power: powers expressly denied to the national and state governments – Limit government by stating specific prohibitions in the Constitution • Constitution made difficult to amend ©McGraw-Hill Education. Using Power to Offset Power • Montesquieu’s concept of a separation of powers: powers divided among separate branches rather than investing it entirely in a single individual or institution • Madison’s Federalist No. 10 discussed the problem of overbearing majorities • Framers’ special contribution to the doctrine of the separation of powers: separate but overlapping powers ©McGraw-Hill Education. Table 2-2 Constitutional Provisions for Limited Government Mechanism Purpose Grants of power Powers granted to the national government; accordingly, powers not granted it are denied it unless necessary and proper to carry out granted powers. Separated institutions Division of national government’s power among three power-sharing branches, each of which acts as a check on the powers of the other two. Federalism Division of political authority between national government and the states, enabling the people to appeal to one authority if their rights and interests are not respected by the other authority. Denials of power Powers expressly denied to the national and state governments by the Constitution. Bill of Rights First 10 amendments to the Constitution, which specify rights of citizens that the national government must respect. Judicial review Power of courts to declare governmental action null and void when it violates the Constitution. Elections Power of voters to remove officials from office. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Separated Institutions Sharing Power: Checks and Balances • Separated institutions sharing powers: separate branches interlocked in such a way that an elaborate system of checks and balances is created – Shared legislative powers: Congress checked by the president and the Supreme Court – Shared executive powers: president checked by Congress and the Supreme Court – Shared judicial powers: courts checked by the president and Congress ©McGraw-Hill Education. Figure 2-2 Separate Branches Sharing Power The U.S. Constitution separates power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches but assigns each branch part of the power of the other two branches so that it can act as a check on their power. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Separate Branches Sharing Power (Figure 2-2) The Supreme Court over the president: may declare executive action unlawful because it is not authorized by legislation; (by tradition) may declare presidential action unconstitutional The Supreme Court over Congress: has the power to interpret legal disputes arising under acts of Congress and (by tradition) may declare acts of Congress unconstitutional Congress over the president: may impeach and remove the president; may override presidential veto; may investigate presidential action; must approve treaties and executive appointments; enacts the budget and laws within which presidential action occurs Congress over the Supreme Court: decides the size of the federal court system, the number of Supreme Court justices, and the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court; may impeach and remove federal judges; may rewrite legislation that courts have interpreted and may initiate constitutional amendments; confirms judicial nominees The president over Congress: may veto acts of Congress, recommend legislation, and call Congress into special session; executes, and thereby interprets, laws enacted by Congress The president over the Supreme Court: nominates federal judges; may pardon those convicted in court; executes court decisions and thereby affects their implementation ©McGraw-Hill Education. The Bill of Rights • Bill of Rights: the first ten amendments to the Constitution • Protects the rights of citizens, such as: – – – – Freedom of speech Freedom of assembly Trial by jury of one’s peers, and legal counsel Freedom of religion • Limits the power of government ©McGraw-Hill Education. Judicial Review • Who was to decide whether officials were operating within the limits of their constitutional powers? • Answer established by Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison (1803) • Judicial review: the power of the judiciary to decide whether a government official or institution has acted within the limits of the Constitution and, if not, to declare it null and void ©McGraw-Hill Education. Providing for Representative Government • History of unfettered democracies was not encouraging • Risk was tyranny of the majority: the people acting as an irrational mob that tramples on the rights of the minority • Framers nevertheless believed the people needed a voice in government ©McGraw-Hill Education. Democracy versus Republic • Democracy, to the framers: a government in which the majority has absolute power • Framers preferred the concept of a republic: a government that has limits on its power, where the people have rights guaranteed by a constitution and protected through carefully designed institutions – Majority rule in a republic is limited in order to protect minority rights ©McGraw-Hill Education. Limited Popular Rule • People participate indirectly in the process of government through elected officials • House of Repre ...
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Tutor went the extra mile to help me with this essay. Citations were a bit shaky but I appreciated how well he handled APA styles and how ok he was to change them even though I didnt specify. Got a B+ which is believable and acceptable.

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