sample
Haven't found the Essay You Want?
For Only $12.90/page

Introducing government in america Essay

A. Defining Democracy
1. Democracy is a means of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy reflects citizens’ preferences.
B. Traditional Democratic Theory
1. Equality in voting
2. Effective participation
3. Enlightened understanding
4. Citizen control of the agenda
5. Inclusion
6. Democracies must practice majority rule and preserve minority rights. 7. The relationship between the few leaders and the many followers is one of representation.
C. Three Contemporary Theories of American Democracy
1. Pluralist theory states that groups with shared interests influence public policy by pressing their concerns through organized efforts. 2. Elite and class theory contends that societies are divided along class lines, and that an upper-class elite pulls the strings of government. 3. Hyperpluralism contends that many groups are so strong that government is unable to act.

D. Challenges to Democracy
1. Increased Technical Expertise
2. Limited Participation in Government
3. Escalating Campaign Costs
4. Diverse Political Interests (policy gridlock)
E. American Political Culture and Democracy
1. Political culture consists of the overall set of values widely shared within a society.
2. Liberty
3. Egalitarianism
4. Individualism
5. Laissez-faire
6. Populism
F. A Culture War? (Is America polarized into rival political camps with different political cultures?)
G. Preview Questions about Democracy

VI. The Scope of Government in America (pp. 23–26)
A. How Active Is American Government?
B. Preview Questions about the Scope of Government
VII. Summary (p. 26)
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
After studying Chapter 1, you should be able to:
1. Describe what government is and what governments do.
2. Understand how politics is the struggle over “who gets what, when, and how.” 3. Identify the important features of the policymaking system and explain how public policies are the choices that government makes—and declines to make—in response to political issues.

4. Understand the nature of democratic government and traditional democratic theory, and the key questions concerning democracy.
5. Distinguish among the three contemporary theories of American democracy and politics (pluralist, elite and class, and hyperpluralist) and identify some of their strengths and weaknesses.
6. Understand the nature of American political culture and identify the elements of the American creed.
7. Understand the nature of the scope of government in America and the key questions concerning the scope of government.
The following exercises will help you meet these objectives:

Objective 1:
Describe what government is and what governments do.
1. Define the term “government.”
The institutions that make authoritative decisions for any given society.

2. What are the two fundamental questions about governing that serve as themes throughout the textbook?
1. How should we govern?
2. What should government do?

3. List the five functions that all national governments perform. 1. Maintain a national defense
2. Provide public services
3. Preserve order
4. Socialize the young
5. Collect taxes

Objective 2:
Understand that politics is the struggle over “who gets what, when, and how.” 1. Define the term “politics.”
Determines whom we select as our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders
pursue.

2. Give examples of the “who,” “what,” “when,” and “how” of politics. 1. Who: Voters, candidates, groups, and parties
2. What: New taxes, medical care for the elderly
3. When: When people speak up
4. How: Voting, supporting, compromising, lobbying

Objective 3:
Identify the important features of the policy system and explain how public policies are the choices that government makes, and declines to make, in response to political issues. 1. Draw a diagram of how a policy system works.

Political issues get on policy agenda Policymakers make policy Policies affect people People Linkage institutions Policy Agenda Policymaking institutions Policy People

2. List four key linkage institutions in a democratic society. 1. Parties
2. Interest groups
3. Media
4. Elections

3. Define the term “policy agenda.”
The issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actually involved in politics at in given point in time.

4. How does a government’s policy agenda change?
Responds more to societal failures than successes. For example, when jobs are scarce and business productivity is falling, economic problems occupy a high position in the agenda.

5. List the four major policymaking institutions in the United States. 1. Congress
2. The Presidency
3. The Courts
4. Bureaucracies

6. Define the term “policy impacts.”
The effects a policy has on people and problems. Impacts are analyzed to see how well a policy has met its goal and at what cost.

Objective 4:
Understand the nature of democratic government, traditional democratic theory, and the key questions concerning democracy.

1. Define the term “democracy” as used in this text.
A system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public’s preferences.

2. List the five cornerstones of an ideal democracy.
1. Equality in voting
2. Effective participation
3. Enlightened understanding
4. Citizen control of the agenda
5. Inclusion

3. Explain the principles of majority rule and minority rights. When choosing among alternatives, the will of over half the voters should be followed, but restraints protecting the minority’s rights.

Objective 5:
Distinguish among the three contemporary theories of American democracy and politics (pluralist, elite and class, and hyperpluralist) and identify some of their strengths and weaknesses.

1. Complete the following table comparing pluralist, elite and class, and hyperpluralist theories according to who holds the power and how policy is made.

Theory| Who Holds Power| How Policy is Made|
Pluralist| Groups with shared interests| Pressing their concernsthrough organized efforts| Elite and Class| Upper -class| They can afford to finance election campaigns and control key institutions| Hyperpluralist| Groups| Groups are so strong that government is weakened|

2. List the major challenges facing American democracy.
1. Increased Technical Expertise
2. Limited Participation in Government
3. Escalating Campaign Costs
4. Diverse Political Interests

Objective 6:
Understand the nature of American political culture and identify the elements of the American creed.

1. What is ‘political culture’ and why is it crucial to understanding American government?
An overall set of values widely shared within a society. It is crucial to understanding American government because Americans are so diverse in terms of ancestries, religions, and heritages. A set of shared beliefs and values unites Americans.

2. List and give an example of the five elements of the American creed according to Seymour Martin Lipset.
1. Liberty
2. Egalitarianism
3. Individualism
4. Laissez – faire
5. Populism

3. List three ways in which America might be experiencing a crisis of cultural values.
1. A loss over time of traditional values, such as the importance of religion and family life 2. An unfavorable comparison with the citizens of other countries in terms of values such as patriotism or support for moral principles 3. The division of society into opposed groups with irreconcilable moral differences

Objective 7:
Understand the nature of the scope of government in America and the key questions concerning the scope of government.

1. Make a list of items that illustrate the scope of American government. Owns 1/3 of the land I the U.S., owns and operates over 400,000 nonmilitary
vehicles, employs over 2.2 million people, etc

2. What is gross domestic product and how does the term illustrate the scope of American government?
The sum total of the value of all the goods and services produced in a nation. Gross domestic product illustrates the scope of American government because it not only spends large sums of money but also employs large numbers of people. About 18 million Americans work for our government.

KEY TERMS
Identify and describe:
Government – The institutions that make authoritative decisions for any given society public goods – Services the government provides that can be shared by everyone and cannot be denied to anyone politics – Determines whom we select as our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue political participation – The ways in which people get involved in politics single-issue groups – Groups so concerned with one issue that members cast their votes on the basis of that issue only, ignoring the politicians stand on everything else policymaking system – Reveals the way our government responds to the priorities of its people linkage institutions – The political channels through which people’s concerns become political issues on the policy agenda. In the US, linkage institutions include elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media. policy agenda – The issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actively involved in politics at any given time political issue – The result of people disagreeing about a problem or about the public policy needed to fix it policymaking institutions – Congress, the presidency, and the courts public policy – Every decision the government makes

policy impacts – The effects that a policy has on people and on society’s problems democracy – A means of selecting policymakers and organizing government so that policy reflects citizen’s preferences majority rule – In choosing among alternatives, the will of over half the voters should be followed minority rights – Rights the majority cannot infringe on

representation – The relationship between the few leaders and the many citizens pluralist theory – States that groups with shared interests influence public policy by pressing their concerns through organized efforts elite and class theory – Contends that our society, like all societies, is divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite pulls the strings of government hyperpluralism – Groups are so strong that government is weakened, as influence of many groups cripples government’s ability to make policy policy gridlock – Each policy coalition finds its way blocked by others political culture – The overall set of values widely shared within American society Gross domestic product – The total value of all goods and services produced annually by the United States

Name that term:
1. Something in which any member of society can share without diminishing the supply to any other member of society.
____Public Goods__________
2. It consists of subjects and problems getting the attention of government officials and their associates.
_________________________
3. This is a choice that government makes in response to an issue on its agenda. ____Policy Agenda_________
4. This arises when people disagree about a problem or about public policy choices made to combat a problem.
_____Political Issue________
5. Political parties, elections, and interest groups are the main ones in the United States.
_____Linkage Institutions___
6. The effects a policy has on people and on society’s problems. _____Policy Impacts_______
7. The most fundamental aspect of democratic theory.
_____Majority Rule_______
8. According to this theory of American government, many groups are so strong and numerous that the government is unable to act.
_____Hyperpluralism______
9. This problem is magnified when voters choose a president from one party
and congressional majorities from the other party.
____Policy Gridlock_______

10. A key factor that holds American democracy together.
____Political Culture________
11. The total value of all goods and services produced annually by the United States. __Gross Domestic Product____

MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
Circle the correct answer:

1. Which of the following statements is TRUE?
a. There is no relationship between political knowledge and age. b. In the mid-1960s, there was virtually no relationship between political knowledge and age; now, in the early twenty-first century, political knowledge increases with age.

c. In the mid-1960s, there was virtually no relationship between political knowledge and age; now, in the early twenty-first century, political knowledge decreases with age.
d. Today, in the early twenty-first century, there is virtually no relationship between political knowledge and age; in the mid-1960s, political knowledge increased with age.
e. Today, in the early twenty-first century, there is virtually no relationship between political knowledge and age; in the mid-1960s, political knowledge decreased with age.

2. Political scientists argue that higher levels of political knowledge a. foster tolerance.
b. foster intolerance.
c. promote partisanship.
d. promote bipartisanship.
e. increase wealth.

3. Despite their differences, all governments
a. provide public services.
b. maintain a national defense.
c. collect taxes.
d. All of the above
e. C only

4. Which of the following is an example of a public good?
a. Libraries
b. Parks
c. College education
d. All of the above
e. Both a and b

5. Single-issue groups
a. aid effective policymaking for the public interest.
b. are concerned with a wide range of problems.
c. have very little influence on voters or politicians.
d. tend to have a narrow interest and to dislike compromise. e. view politics as a vocation, rather than as an avocation.

6. Which of the following is NOT a component of the policymaking system? a. People
b. Linkage institutions
c. Policy agenda
d. Criminal justice institutions
e. Policymaking institutions

7. Which of the following is TRUE of the policymaking system? a. Linkage institutions transmit people’s interests to government. b. Media investigate social problems and inform people about them. c. Elections enable Americans to make their opinions heard by choosing their public officials.

d. People, linkage institutions, media, and elections all help to shape the policy agenda?
e. All of the above

8. In a democratic society, parties, elections, interest groups, and the media are all examples of ____ between the preferences of citizens and the government’s policy agenda. a. cross-pollination

b. inputs and outputs
c. ideological bridges
d. obstacles
e. linkage institutions

9. Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels published
a. The Communist Manifesto
b. A Theory of Democracy
c. The Federalist Papers
d. Poor Richard’s Almanac
e. War and Peace

10. Which of the following is NOT a type of public policy?
a. Congressional statute
b. Regulation
c. Court decision
d. Budgetary choices
e. Mandate

11. The principle of “one person, one vote,” is an expression of the principle of a. equality in voting.
b. effective participation.
c. enlightened understanding.
d. inclusion.
e. citizen control of the agenda.

12. The principle of traditional democracy theory guaranteeing rights to those who do not belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument is called the principle of

a. majority rule.
b. minority rights.
c. representation.
d. pluralism.
e. enlightened understanding.

13. Pluralists
a. believe that the public interest will prevail through bargaining and compromise. b. depend on fragmented, decentralized, and dispersed power in the policy process. c. oppose the principle of majority rule.

d. compete through a system of “minority rule” for influence. e. All of the above

14. Who referred to the U.S. as a “nation of joiners”?
a. Thomas Jefferson
b. Alexis de Tocqueville
c. Robert Putnam
d. Ronald Reagan
e. George H. W. Bush

15. Increased technical expertise poses a potential challenge to democracy because a. it is difficult to have an informed “nontechnical” public debate on technical issues.
b. it goes against the tenets of pluralist political theory. c. it violates the notion of one man, one vote.
d. elected officials find it hard to understand technical experts. e. interest groups have a difficult time securing technical expertise.

16. A condition that occurs when no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy is
a. PAC.
b. policy gridlock.
c. policy failure.
d. policy impact.
e. hyperpluralist policy.

17. The overall set of values widely shared within a society is called the society’s a. political culture.
b. public opinion.
c. media influence.
d. linkage institutions.
e. popular culture.

18. America’s bountiful frontier provides a partial explanation for which element of the American creed?
a. Egalitarianism
b. Populism
c. Individualism
d. Opportunism
e. Liberty

19. Which of the following is NOT a possible way that Americans may be experiencing a crisis of culture values, according to Wayne Baker?
a. A loss of traditional values, such as religion and family life b. An unfavorable comparison with citizens of other countries in terms of patriotism and/or support for moral principles
c. The division of society into opposed groups with irreconcilable moral differences d. A decline in citizens’ commitment to equal opportunity
e. None of the above

20. Which of the following statements is TRUE?
a. When expenditures grow, tax revenues must grow to pay the additional costs. b. When taxes do not grow as fast as spending, a budget deficit results. c. In 2009, the federal deficit was more than $400 billion.

d. The national debt is more than $9 trillion.
e. All of the above

TRUE FALSE QUESTIONS
Circle the correct answer:
1. The voter turnout rate among young Americans is consistently higher than among older Americans. T / F

2. Emergent communication technologies and the proliferation of television channels make it easier to avoid information about politics. T / F

3. All governments protect national sovereignty, frequently by maintaining a national defense and armed forces. T / F

4. The daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is a tool of political socialization used to instill national values among the young. T / F

5. The courts are an example of a linkage institution. T / F

6. The policy agenda responds more to societal failures than it responds to societal successes. T / F

7. Most people around the world believe that democracy is the best form of government. T / F

8. Over one-third of the nation’s wealth is held by just 1 percent of the population. T / F

9. The tax burden on Americans is small compared to other democratic nations. T / F

10. Lincoln’s famous phrase, “government of the people, for the people, and by the people,” is a classic expression of laissez-faire. T / F


Essay Topics:


Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email. Please, specify your valid email address

We can't stand spam as much as you do No, thanks. I prefer suffering on my own

Courtney from Study Moose

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out https://goo.gl/3TYhaX