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American Political Culture & Values

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Submitted By amos12
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American Political Culture & Values

According to the text book, political culture is a set of beliefs broadly shared, value, and norms regarding on how the political and economic life should be done. The political cultures determine the relationship of citizens to government, to one another, and to the economy. American political culture may share beliefs, values and norms, with other countries, but the amount of configuration of each political culture is unique. No matter how extensive the consensus organization, culture contains values that overlap and conflict; the American political culture is no exception.

The values of American political culture are based in the XVIII century philosophy that should heavily influence the founders. In recent years, the values has also been added, some support the original, some conflicts: Liberty is the value of freedom can be the most important source of stimulation for the American Revolution, and it is still a core value today. Freedom is one of the natural rights first cited by John Locke and later by Thomas Jefferson “that among these rights are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”; Equality- once again, Thomas Jefferson refers to the basic values of the Declaration of Independence “We hold these truth to be self-evident, that all people are created equal” Although most Americans do not believe that people are equal in every sense of the word, the fundamental belief in equality of opportunity and equal treatment before the law was affect the political system most. Individualism- the value of equality and freedom is complemented by a commitment to the importance and self-respect of the individual. Under our system of government, individuals have both rights and responsibilities.

It is important to evaluate the influence of large political culture in any specific political system, but not easy task because often a values and beliefs differences between people in a country. For example, some people in a country may believe that religion should play an important role in shaping political decisions, while many others may believe in strict separation of church and state. The number and depth of disagreements among citizens in a form of society basis for political cultures divided into two categories: consensual and conflictual. 1) Consensual politics, culture and even though people may disagree on some political processes and policies, they tend to agree on how decisions are made, the issues must be explained decision, and how these issues should be resolved. For example, people agree that elections will be held to choose leaders, and they accept as the election victory of their leaders. Once the leaders take charge, the issues they address are considered most appropriate for people to government to handle. And large, a consensual political culture accepts both the authority of the administration and solutions to major problems. 2) Conflictual political culture- people in a conflictual political culture are sharply divided, often on both the authority of the administration and solutions to major problems. For example, if citizens do not agree on something as basic as capitalism vs. communism, conflict will almost certainly hard to avoid. Or if religious differences are so pronounced that a religion does not accept a leader elected from different religions, different attacks in the heart of authority, and threatened to overthrow administration. When a country is divided into profound beliefs in political and values in a long time, political subcultures may develop, and become embedded unit that government finds it difficult to a rule effective.

No matter how we classify political culture, they are constantly changing, so that over time, the political culture may become consensual, and vice versa. However, values and political beliefs tend to endure, and no political system may be analyzed accurately without consideration the political culture that shaped it.

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