American Political Culture

After reading and watching the assigned materials, answer the following questions:

–Distinguish between political power and authority.

–Contrast the American political culture with that of most Western democracies.  What in the American experience has led its people to derive their national identity from a set of shared political ideals?

— Explain the types of power that result from each of America’s major systems of governing–democracy, constitutionalism, and a free market.

–Define the concept of judicial review.  How does a court decision involving judicial review differ from an ordinary court decision, such as a ruling in a case involving armed robbery?

–Contrast the original system for electing federal officials with the system of today, noting in each case whether voters have acquired a more direct voice in the election process than was originally the case.

–Why is it more accurate to say that the U.S. has a system of “separated institutions sharing power” rather than a system of “separated powers”?  Provide examples of how shared power can act to check and balance the power of each institution.

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