The Study of American Government
Chapter Outline with Keyed-in Resources0
What is political power? (THEME A: POLITICAL POWER AND AUTHORITY)0 A0.
Two great questions about politics0
Who governs: those who govern will affect us
To what ends: tells how government affects our lives
The text focuses on who governs and, in answering this question, looks at how the government makes decisions on a variety of issues B0.
Definition: the ability of one person to cause another person to act in accordance with the first person’s intentions 20.
Text’s concern: power as it is used to affect who will hold government office and how government will behave 30.
Authority: the right to use power; not all who exercise political power have authority to do so 40.
Legitimacy: what makes a law or constitution a source of right 50.
Struggles over what makes authority legitimate constitute much of U.S. history 60.
Necessary for government to be in some sense “democratic” in the United States today in order to be perceived as legitimate II0.
What is democracy? Describes at least three different political systems. (THEME B: DEMOCRACY AND INDIVIDUAL CHOICE)0 A0.
Where the “true interests” of the people are served, whether or not those people directly affect the decision making (democratic centralism)0 10.
Certain European, Asian, Latin American dictatorships
Aristotelian “rule of the many” (direct or participatory democracy)0 10.
Fourth-century B.C.E. Greek city-state, practiced by free adult male property owners 20.
New England town meeting
Acquisition of power by leaders via competitive elections (representative democracy or elitist theory of democracy)0 10.
Direct democracy is impractical for reasons of time, expertise, etc. b0)
The people make unwise decisions based on fleeting emotions III0.
Direct v. representative democracy0
Text uses the term “democracy” to refer to representative...
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