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1d. Democratic Values — Liberty, Equality, Justice
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Liberty and equality. These words represent basic values of democratic political systems, ...

Liberty and equality. These words represent basic values of democratic political systems, including that of the United States. Rule by absolute monarchs and emperors has often brought peace and order, but at the cost of personal freedoms. Democratic values support the belief that an orderly society can exist in which freedom is preserved. But order and freedom must be balanced.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
1. The Nature of Government
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Do you believe in government "by the people, for the people, and ...

Do you believe in government "by the people, for the people, and of the people"? Few Americans would say no, especially since these words spoken by Abraham Lincoln in his 1863 Gettysburg Address are firmly imbedded in the American political system. Yet governments over the centuries have not always accepted this belief in popularly elected rule.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
1c. What Is a Democracy?
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Democracies are based on "rule of law." The ancient Greeks (particularly Aristotle) ...

Democracies are based on "rule of law." The ancient Greeks (particularly Aristotle) valued natural law, the notion that human societies should be governed by ethical principles found in nature.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
1a. The Purposes of Government
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Why do governments exist? One major reason is that they create rules. ...

Why do governments exist? One major reason is that they create rules. But what rules are necessary or desirable? That is open to question, and different types of governments have certainly created a wide variety of rules.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
Peace and Conflict Studies: Part 1, Fall 2006
Rating

These UCB course videos for Peace and Conflict Studies 164A provide an ...

These UCB course videos for Peace and Conflict Studies 164A provide an introduction to the science of nonviolence, mainly as seen through the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi. Historical overview of nonviolence East and the West up to the American Civil Rights movement and Martin Luther King, Jr., with emphasis on the ideal of principled nonviolence and the reality of mixed or strategic nonviolence in practice, especially as applied to problems of social justice and defense.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Lecture
Provider:
U.C. Berkeley
Provider Set:
U.C. Berkeley Webcast
Author:
Michael Nagler
10d. Citizenship Rights
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All countries have rules that determine who is a citizen, and what ...

All countries have rules that determine who is a citizen, and what rights and responsibilities come with citizenship. In the United States, the 14th Amendment gives constitutional protection of the basic rights of citizenship: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside." So citizenship is conferred on the basis of place of birth and the process of naturalization.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
10b. First Amendment Rights
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A careful reading of the First Amendment reveals that it protects several ...

A careful reading of the First Amendment reveals that it protects several basic liberties — freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly. Interpretation of the amendment is far from easy, as court case after court case has tried to define the limits of these freedoms. The definitions have evolved throughout American history, and the process continues today.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
10. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
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What is the difference between a liberty and a right? Both words ...

What is the difference between a liberty and a right? Both words appear in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. The distinction between the two has always been blurred, and today the concepts are often used interchangeably. However, they do refer to different kinds of guaranteed protections.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
11a. Foreign Policy: What Now?
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United States foreign policy has changed dramatically from George Washington's day. Although ...

United States foreign policy has changed dramatically from George Washington's day. Although Americans always pay attention to the advice of their revered founder, the world is of course not the same. The many people that shape American foreign policy today accept the fact that the United States is a member of a world community that cannot afford to ignore the importance of getting along.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
11. Policy Making: Political Interactions
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Public policy is a goal-oriented course of action that the government follows ...

Public policy is a goal-oriented course of action that the government follows in dealing with a problem or issue in the country. Public policies are based on law, but many people other than legislators set them. Individuals, groups, and even government agencies that do not comply with policies can be penalized. This complicated process goes through a predictable series of steps:

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
11d. Social and Regulatory Policy
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Does the right to pursue happiness include access to a free public ...

Does the right to pursue happiness include access to a free public education? Do all Americans have an unalienable right to health care under this happiness umbrella? Should the unemployed be assisted in their times of need?

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
11c. Economic Policy
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Until the 20th century the country abided by the laissez-faire policy, which ...

Until the 20th century the country abided by the laissez-faire policy, which required a free market with little intervention from government. With the Great Depression came Keynesian economics, or the opposite belief that the government should manage the economy. Today, United States economic policy lies somewhere in between — government should regulate and sometimes manage, but should allow a free market whenever possible. Political and business leaders disagree on how much control is enough.

Subject:
Management
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
11b. Defense Policy
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Just as developing a coherent foreign policy is problematic in these post-Cold ...

Just as developing a coherent foreign policy is problematic in these post-Cold War days, so is the question of defending the country against possible danger from outside its borders. The avoidance of war, as indicated by the 1947 name change from "Department of War" to "Department of Defense" today holds the highest priority, and the hope that the United States can play a role in limiting violent upheavals around the world is reflected in both its foreign and military policies.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
12a. State and Local Governments: Democracy at Work?
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The vast majority of government employees work for local and state — ...

The vast majority of government employees work for local and state — not the federal — governments. Teachers, policemen, clerks at the motor vehicle office. Many of these people are state and local employees. This seems to confirm the general notion that government is in fact "closer to the people," and therefore more democratic. But the real evidence is contradictory.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
12c. Who Pays for Education?
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Public education is the single largest expenditure for state and local governments ...

Public education is the single largest expenditure for state and local governments across the nation. Yet it is arguably the most criticized. Many people charge that public schools are faltering and that American academic achievements are far behind those in other countries. In recent years, many states and localities have experimented with improving public schools.

Subject:
Finance
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
12. State and Local Governments
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Beneath the layer of the national government lies a complex web of ...

Beneath the layer of the national government lies a complex web of state and local officials and institutions. The nation's founders concern over tyranny transcended their separation of power among the three branches of government. Power is also divided by level, with each layer performing its designated responsibility. States and communities would even have the freedom to design their own institutions and create their own offices. This creates a multitude of "laboratories" where government leaders at any level could see which systems were successful and which were problematic.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government
12b. Financing State and Local Government
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Paying taxes is surely everyone's least favorite government-related activity. But taxing citizens ...

Paying taxes is surely everyone's least favorite government-related activity. But taxing citizens is one of the concurrent powers of government. Federal, state, and local levels all have the power to tax.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
American Government