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4 American Political Landscape

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4 Learning Objectives 4.1 4.2 Understand the origins and effects of American exceptionalism Assess the role of geography in building a national identity

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4 Learning Objectives 4.3 4.4 Evaluate the importance of where we live on American politics Analyze how such social and demographic factors as race and ethnicity, religion, gender, family structures, education, and age affect American politics

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4 Learning Objectives Describe the importance of income, wealth, occupation, and social class in American politics Evaluate the degree to which America has achieved a measure of unity in a land of diversity 4.5 4.6

An Exceptional America:

An Exceptional America What is exceptional about America? Tocqueville’s definition Moral superiority 4.1

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Its wealth Its ethnic diversity Its origins and history All of the above 4.1 4.1 Why is America considered unique among the nations of the world?

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4.1 4.1 Why is America considered unique among the nations of the world? Its wealth Its ethnic diversity Its origins and history All of the above

Geography and National Identity:

Geography and National Identity Large and isolated country No powers on its borders Size confers advantage Population spread out Natural resources Manifest destiny – a sense of entitlement to take land from its previous inhabitants 4.2

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4.2 What is the concept of manifest destiny? The U.S. is meant to be a leading colonial power. The U.S. is meant to be the world’s largest exporter of food. The U.S. is meant to occupy the continent from coast to coast. The U.S. is meant to be the world’s policeman. 4.2

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4.2 4.2 What is the concept of manifest destiny? The U.S. is meant to be a leading colonial power. The U.S. is meant to be the world’s largest exporter of food. The U.S. is meant to occupy the continent from coast to coast. The U.S. is meant to be the world’s policeman.

Where We Live:

Where We Live Regional Differences State and Local Identity Urban and Rural Populations 4.3

Regional Differences:

Regional Differences The South – agriculturally based, dominated by Republicans Sun Belt – growing population helps Republican Party with more seats in the House (New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Southern California and Florida) Bible Belt – wants to end separation of church and state (the former Confederate states + Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia) 4.3

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Martin Luther King, Jr. 4.3

Regional Differences:

Regional Differences Midwest – former manufacturing sector Rust Belt – Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, and New York 4.3

State and Local Identity:

State and Local Identity 4.3 Like regions, states have identities State citizenship Elections state- centered Differing state laws California Largest state – 1 out of 8 Americans live here Economically and politically important

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FIGURE 4.1: Percentage change in resident population, 2000-2010 4.3

Urban and Rural Populations:

Urban and Rural Populations 4.3 Three types of areas : Urban – 4 out of 5 Americans live here, mostly in the West and Northeast Suburban Rural White flight – white residents left cities for suburbs in search of better schools and safer environment. This resulted in urban areas becoming more poor, African American and Democratic.

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4.3 Most Americans live in which type of area? Urban Suburban Rural None of the above 4.3

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4.3 4.3 Most Americans live in which type of area? Urban Suburban Rural None of the above

Who We Are:

Who We Are Race and Ethnicity Religion Gender Sexual Orientation Family Structure Education Age 4.4

Race and Ethnicity:

Race and Ethnicity Race versus Ethnicity – race refers to physical characteristics; ethnicity refers to nation of origin, religion, and language. Native Americans – only 0.2% of Americans African Americans – representation in southern state legislatures is increasing Hispanics – mixed political views 4.4

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor 4.4

Race and Ethnicity:

Race and Ethnicity Asian Americans – diverse group with median income above the national average Ties of Ethnicity 1 st wave of immigration was mostly from Europe in early 1900s 2 nd wave was in the 1990s and 2000s and was mostly from Mexico, Asia, and the Caribbean. Illegal Immigration – Possibly 10 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. 4.4

Religion:

Religion Religious violence – Jews vs. Muslims, etc. Religious liberty was U.S. foundation No official religion Religion of political candidates matters Fundamentalists – important force in the Republican Party Diverse, but dominated by Protestants – over half the population is Protestant. 4.4

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FIGURE 4.2: Religious groups in the United States 4.4

Gender:

Gender Voting and political representation Lower and higher rates of voting Gender gap in representation Women lean Democratic 4.4

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FIGURE 4.3: Gender and the vote for president 4.4

Gender:

Gender Income gap 77 cents for every dollar men earn 4.4

Sexual Orientation:

Sexual Orientation Legal rights for LGBT Stonewall 1969 – beginning of the gay rights movement 2-10% of population Winning elective offices Political agenda Same-sex marriage “Don’t ask, don ’ t tell ” – military policy on discharging gay and lesbian soldiers ended in 2010. 4.4

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Annise Parker 4.4

Family Structure and Education:

Family Structure and Education Family demographics changing Later marriage Fewer children Divorce more common Education predicts political participation Democratic values 70% graduate high school 50% graduate college 4.4

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FIGURE 4.4: Educational attainment in the United States 4.4

Age:

Age Graying of America Americans living longer Increasing health care costs 4.4

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FIGURE 4.5: Percentage of population over the age of 65, 1900-2050 4.4

Age:

Age Political participation Older citizens more likely to vote Lifecycle effects Generational effects 4.4

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4.4 Which age group is more likely to vote? 18-24 year olds 25-64 year olds 65 and older All age groups vote about equally c 4.4

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4.4 4.4 Which age group is more likely to vote? 18-24 year olds 25-64 year olds 65 and older All age groups vote about equally c

How Much We Own:

How Much We Own Wealth and Income Occupation Social class 4.5

Wealth and Income:

Wealth and Income Wealth versus income Link to political views – wealthy are more likely to be Republican, poor tend to be Democrats. Income trends 50s-70s average income grew Poor people lack political power – less likely to vote, therefore are often ignored 4.5

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4.5 America Reads program

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FIGURE 4.6: Percentage of Americans living in poverty, by age, 1967-2010 4.5

Occupation:

Occupation Industrialization – caused movement from farms to cities Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - the total market value of goods and services produced, rose rapidly Technology and the post-industrial economy should be more affluent and less divided by class White-collar, blue-collar, and public sector workers 4.5

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FIGURE 4.7: Employment by occupational groups, 2010 4.5

Social Class:

Social Class Social class and political life Proletariat versus bourgeoisie Socioeconomic status is politically relevant Why does everyone want to be middle class? 4.5

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4.5 Salary and social class

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4.5 Since the 1980s, income has grown most for which wealth sector? The top 10% The middle 50% The top 1% The bottom 25% 4.5

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4.5 4.5 Since the 1980s, income has grown most for which wealth sector? The top 10% The middle 50% The top 1% The bottom 25%

Unity in a Land of Diversity:

Unity in a Land of Diversity Shared sense of national identity Education and nationalization Melting pot or salad bowl? 4.6

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How do regional, educational, racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, and age-related differences affect American political culture? Explore the effects of each individually, and also consider how several factors may work together to shape political identity. Discussion Question 4

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