By Steffen W. Schmidt
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Additional info for Cengage Advantage Books: American Government and Politics Today, Brief Edition, 2010-2011
Liberty versus Order In the United States, our civil liberties include religious freedom—both the right to practice whatever religion we choose and the right to be free from any stateimposed religion. Our civil liberties also include freedom of speech—the right to express our opinions freely on all matters, including government actions. Freedom of speech is perhaps one of our most prized liberties, because a democracy could not endure without it. These and many other basic guarantees of liberty are found in the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
In general, legislators are very willing to talk to students, particularly students who also are voters. Ask the member how he or she sees the job of representative. How can the wishes of the constituents be identified? How does the representative balance the needs of the particular ward or district that she or he represents with the good of the entire community? You can write to many legislators via e-mail. You might ask how much e-mail they receive and who actually answers it. CHAPTER ONE • TH E DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC 17 keyterms aristocracy 4 authoritarianism 4 authority 3 Bill of Rights 9 capitalism 11 civil liberties 9 consent of the people 5 dominant culture 8 elite theory 7 equality 10 government 2 initiative 4 institution 2 legislature 4 limited government 6 majoritarianism 7 majority 6 majority rule 6 oligarchy 4 order 2 pluralism 8 conservatism 13 democracy 4 democratic republic 5 direct democracy 4 legitimacy 3 liberalism 13 libertarianism 13 liberty 3 political culture 8 political ideology 12 political socialization 8 politics 1 popular sovereignty 5 property 11 recall 5 referendum 4 representative democracy 6 republic 5 socialism 13 theocracy 4 totalitarian regime 4 universal suﬀrage 6 chaptersummary 1 Politics is the process by which people decide which members of society receive certain beneﬁts or privileges and which members do not.
Many of its provisions were grounded in the political philosophy of the time. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 brought with them two important sets of influences: their political culture and their political experience. In the years between the first settlements in the New World and the writing of the 19 20 PA RT O N E • T H E A M E R I CA N S Y ST E M Representative Assembly Constitution, Americans had developed a political philosophy about how people should be governed and had tried out several forms of government.