The American Of The United States Essay

The American Of The United States Essay

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Public Opinion
Alexis de Tocqueville, a French observer of American politics, believed that the United States could establish democracy because it had well defined characteristics that could not be found in other countries. Those characteristics, such as minimal taxes and fertile soil, made a country with suitable and scholarly qualities also called political culture. The United States is characterized by the a wide range of opinions that adjust one another out in order to produce a system where a republic can flourish despite the fact that the American individuals can express their thoughts.
While several other countries have democracies, they are very different from the United States. As Tocqueville described, America had fertile soil where roots can grow, broad territory where people can gain land and make a living, no feudal aristocracies, minimal taxes, and few legal restraints. Also the westward expansion gave opportunities to independent farmers, which made democracy work. All these things are not the only reason why a democracy worked, but also what Tocqueville said about the people. He describes the people’s customs “moral and intellectual characteristics” (Wilson and Dilulio 2004), and that is political culture.
Political culture is “a distinctive and patterned way of thinking about how political and economic life ought to be carried out” (Wilson and Dilulio 2004). Many nations judge both their economic and political system the same way, unlike Americans. In the political system, there are five principles on how Americans view it. The first is liberty. Americans like to think that they can do whatever they want, of course with limits. Also, Americans believe that everyone should have an equal vote and chance to partic...


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...lmond and Sidney Verba conducted a study in 1959-1960 of the political cultures in five countries. Americans and Britons had a stronger sense of civic duty and and civic competence, believed they could “do something’ about an unjust law, and that citizens should be active in one’s community. While Americans lagged behind Austria, the Netherlands, West Germany, and the United Kingdom in voter participation, they seemed to be much more involved in other areas such as campaigning, being active in the local community, and contacting government official. But in “Bowling Alone,” Robert Putnam states that not only has voter turnout declined, but so has citizen participation in politics and government. This is because they are more self-reliant now. People do not vote because they do not care. They believe the democratic values this nation was built upon do not exist anymore.

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