Political Culture

Topics: United States, Political philosophy, Individualism Pages: 1 (312 words) Published: November 4, 2007
Different societies view politics differently and have different approaches to political participation. The views of society are referred to political culture and encompass values, traditions, habits, and behavior. Different regions in the United States contain contrasting groups concerned with values or beliefs slightly different than the majority, are called subcultures. Moralistic, individualistic, and traditionalistic views have been created throughout America for several reasons.

Individualism is found mostly in the west and Midwest; is tied the frontier and America's westward expansion. The frontiersman's view of government is seen as a entity that gives out land or services in return for an individuals own work. They believe the scope of government should be limited especially in taxing and regulating commerce. The individualists approach is conservative in nature as well as more reliance on local instead of national politics.

Traditional political culture grew from the southern states plantation based economy. This view is seen as a middle ground between individualistic and moralistic views. As migration increased in the south so did slavery. Many of the elite plantations owners highly influenced politics on the state and local level. Jim Crow laws, white primaries and preferential treatment to whites in general was openly accepted by society because of their traditionalistic views.

Society's with a moralistic view originated with Puritanism in the New England states and slowly spread westward. Unlike the governments limited scope as seen by the individualists in the West, the moralists believe the role of the government is to serve the public good. It is believed to be a citizen's duty to participate local politics. They put more emphasis on the values and commonwealth of society.

Society's subcultures represent the entire scope of American politics on the local and state level. Their views on traditions, values, habits, and...
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