America the Unusual

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American Government
2/20/2006
America the Unusual

A look at John Kingdon's factual exploration.
America the Unusual, by John Kingdon, is a series of observations and discussions as to the unique nature of American politics and government. America is considered "The Land of Opportunity" by many - but what makes it different from other countries? How does it provide more opportunity than other systems of government or politics? In his book, Kingdon continually poses and answers questions regarding the truly individual nature of American government, and helps explain not only why things are done in the manner of current times, but how it came to pass. Kingdon's first and primary point that seems to continue throughout his writings is the relatively low amount of interference the government exercises in the affairs of its citizens. Americans desire limited public policy, a result of several components of American ideology - the most important being our desire for individuality and equal opportunity for all citizens. There are many possible explanations for the reason Americans think this way, including the personality of the immigrants who fled here, our physical isolation from other countries, and the diversity of the American population, among other things. Kingdon suggests all of these as a potential starting point for discussion of why America is so unusual when compared to the rest of the world - despite being made up of immigrants from other countries, they have created a system of politics and government unlike any other. Kingdon vouches greatly that autonomic individualism is one major feature of America that separates it from its contemporaries. America was a country founded out of mistrust for the government - and in creating its own constitution, limited the powers of its government by separation of state. A further fragmentation of government power occurs on the level of the state, which acts independently of the federal government, while still...
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